LIN Media, Cox retransmission battle looms

LIN Media has started dropping hints that it might soon be dropping service on Cox Communications' lineups as time runs out for a new retransmission consent agreement.

The current deal between the two entities expires at midnight March 31 and, LIN said in a news release aimed at Fox Network viewers in Pensacola, Fla., "the majority of time these contracts are renewed without any disruption to viewers." But, the statement continued ominously, "if we do not reach an agreement by law, Cox cannot carry our television stations on its cable system."

According to a Cox spokesman, nine stations in three Cox markets would be involved should a blackout happen: New England, Hampton Roads, Va. and Pensacola, Fla. LIN has 27 stations in 17 TV markets. Most recently those stations went dark for Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH) subscribers in a week-long retrans dispute. Prior to that, LIN also went through a protracted retrans battle with Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC-WI).

For more:
- see this news release

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