Thanks to negotiations free of the drama that characterizes some high profile retransmission consent talks, broadcaster LIN Media reached a new carriage deal with cable company Cox Communications one day ahead of a March 31 deadline.
Terms of the agreement in principle, which is subject to the execution of a final contract, were not disclosed.
The deal covers carriage of LIN’s nine TV stations in five midsize markets: Norfolk, Va.; Mobile, Ala.; Providence, R.I.; Hartford, Conn.; and Springfield, Mass.
Compared to many retransmission negotiations, which often devolve into posturing, hyperventilation and dueling press releases, this one was fairly boring. Part of the reason for the civility could be that Cox’s parent company, Cox Enterprises, also owns TV stations.
That factor could also have been at play last August when Comcast, which recently acquired 51 percent of NBC Universal, another TV station owner, quietly signed a 10-year deal with CBS.
Neither Cox nor Comcast are part of the American Television Alliance, a coalition of companies that was instrumental in pushing the Federal Communications Commission to consider reforming retransmission consent rules.