Channel 12 went dark on the cable after Hearst, its parent company, did not reach an agreement with Time Warner.
The cable channel 1012 was carrying programming from the Hallmark Movie Channel this morning.
“Time Warner Cable has terminated negotiations with our company, Hearst Television, for continued carriage of WISN-TV on Time Warner Cable systems,” noted Jan Wade, president and general manager of WISN-TV, a media partner of BizTimes. “Hearst has successfully concluded more than 150 carriage agreements in recent months with other cable companies with no disruption of service to subscribers. This contrasts with Time Warner’s disruptions of service and withdrawal of carriage of local television stations in other cases. Time Warner Cable refuses to pay our station a reasonable fee relative to what it pays for other significantly less popular channels. Time Warner’s characterization of the percentage increase in carriage fees we are seeking is inaccurate. We have sought a reasonable increase consistent with the increased costs we have to pay for our highly valued programming and the carriage fees now paid to us by Time Warner’s competitors. Time Warner Cable is seeking a significant discount off market-based fees that is neither fair nor reasonable. In fact, retransmission fees paid to stations are just 7 cents of every dollar of the total carriage fees paid to cable networks, which are less popular than local TV stations, according to recent independent research. The fees we are asking from Time Warner are based on the fees we are being paid by other cable companies under our recent deals, which is the real measure — not Time Warner’s exaggerated and distorted claims — of the fairness of our proposal…Contrary to Time Warner’s claim, we have not 'blacked out’ our station. You may continue to receive our station for free, over the air, or by satellite from DIRECTV or DISH, and, where available, from other cable operators.”
Stacy Zaja, director of communications for Time Warner Cable Wisconsin, issued the following statement: “Hearst Television, the owners of WISN TV12, have chosen to black out their signals from our customers rather than continue negotiations, despite their CEO saying just two weeks ago that broadcaster blackouts are unfair to consumers. Time Warner Cable has reached hundreds of agreements with other broadcasters without broadcaster blackouts, but Hearst's demand for a nearly 300 percent increase is way out of line. That kind of outrageous increase is unfair to our customers and unsustainable for our business. We believe broadcaster blackouts are wrong. Despite Hearst's blackout, we stand ready to continue negotiations and are hopeful that WISN TV12 will be returned to the lineup shortly.”
Viewers can determine the type of antenna needed to receive the signals of Hearst Stations at http://www.antennaweb.org/.