(REUTERS) New York-based cable operator Cablevision Systems said it has stopped transmitting television stations owned by Tribune Co. over a carriage fee dispute, in the latest standoff between media companies and providers of cable and satellite TV.
The purchase of television programmes is the single biggest cost for distributors, who have fought in recent years against what they say are unreasonable carriage fee increases by content producers.
“Tribune and their hedge fund owners are demanding tens of millions in new fees for WPIX and other stations they own,” Cablevision said.
Tribune said Cablevision stopped carrying its stations despite its “offer of an unconditional extension of the current carriage agreement with no change in terms while negotiations continued”.
Similar blackouts have taken place in recent years between Cablevision and Walt Disney’s ABC; News Corp and Cablevision; and News Corp and Dish. In those cases and most others, a new contract was reached and networks were restored within days.