Two stations in Louisville have gone dark on Time Warner Cable, after the stations owner, Block Communications, was unable to reach a new retrans deal with the cable operator.
“WDRB has tried very hard to reach an agreement with Time Warner but the deadline has passed,” the station announced in a post on its website today. “After much negotiating, Time Warner has decided to reject our repeated offers leaving many of our viewers without a local TV station you like.”
In an additional post, WDRB reported that viewers have been overwhelming its switchboard with calls.
“Although we have several people answering phone calls at the front desk and the newsroom, the volume of calls has exceeded our ability to answer all of them as quickly as we would like,” the post reads. “If you’re trying to call WDRB and can’t get through, please keep trying.”
WDRB is also urging viewers to call Time Warner.
As FierceCable points out, Block Communications has a unique position at the retrans bargaining table since its both a station owner and a cable provider. In addition to owning a handful of stations across the country, Block operates Buckeye Cablevision in Ohio.
“When Block is negotiating as a cable operator, they too believe that excessive retransmission consent fees are out of line,” Time Warner Cable said in a statement.
Block’s dispute with Time Warner comes in the wake of the cable company’s acquisition of Insight Communications.
Here’s a message to viewers about the retrans battle from WDRB-WMYO president and general manager Bill Lamb…