Suddenlink, Viacom settle retrans differences as TWC-Sinclair extend talks

Those retransmission brouhahas continued to raise dust almost to the stroke of midnight Dec. 31 until Suddenlink and Viacom (NYSE: VIA) reached a retrans agreement and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC-WI) and Sinclair Broadcast Group agreed to disagree some more and extend their dispute to Jan. 14.

Suddenlink and Viacom were the first to blink when they agreed to a long-term contract where Suddenlink will carry Viacom's package of cable channels, including its new movie channel EPIX. Early reports are that there will be no rate increases for Suddenlink's 1.3 million customers who can choose whether or not they want EPIX.

Time Warner and Sinclair, which have been in a nasty dust-up, conceded late in the year that they couldn't agree on anything before the clock struck 12 and rather than black out the all-important New Year's Day programming slate, they would to extend their talks for two weeks.

In earlier retrans action (as of Dec. 30), Insight Communications and Raycom Media reached agreement so that three Raycom stations in Kentucky and Indiana would stay on Insight's lineup, causing Insight CEO Michael Willner to "applaud Raycom for working with us to reach a win-win solution for our customers."

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