As of 5 p.m.ET yesterday night, LIN Media-owned stations went dark for customers who have Mediacom Cable service, as the two parties failed to renegotiate a retransmission agreement.
“Without fair and equitable treatment, local TV stations will not be able to continue to provide top quality news, sports, entertainment, and other local programming that is most important to you,” a statement on the LIN Media website reads.
The stations affected are WALA-WFNA in Mobile, WOOD-WOTV in Grand Rapids, WANE in Fort Wayne, WLUK in Green Bay, WTHI in Terre Haute and WLFI in Layfayette, IN. LIN-owned stations WAVY and WVBT — both in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia — will remain on the air for another week, the result of a contract extension granted to Mediacom so affected viewers can still receive local news coverage of Hurricane Irene’s aftermath.
The two parties are continuing to negotiate an agreement. On the company website, Mediacom is warning customers against cancelling their cable service in the interim, noting that “switching providers is not the solution.”
“Earlier in the year, LIN used the same pressure tactics with DISH Network,” the statement reads. “In the past, LIN has pulled its stations from other providers like Time Warner, Brighthouse and Suddenlink. Any service provider you choose, be it a cable, satellite or phone company, will eventually face the same demands from LIN or another broadcaster.”