BALTIMORE, Dec. 28, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: SBGI), the "Company" or "Sinclair," announced that negotiations with Time Warner Cable have come to an end as a result of Time Warner Cable's refusal to engage in further negotiations. The most recent financial offer, contemplating a monthly per station increase that averaged just ten cents ($0.10) per subscriber, was one made by Sinclair. Time Warner Cable has rejected that offer and refused to provide a financial counter-proposal, effectively ending negotiations. As a result, Sinclair television stations will no longer be carried on Time Warner Cable systems after midnight on December 31, 2010.
Sinclair's most recent offer to Time Warner Cable offered to guarantee that the price being paid by Time Warner Cable would be equal to or less than the price agreed to by every other major cable and satellite provider with which Sinclair has completed a deal during the past two years. This "most-favored nations" protection included not only Time Warner's primary competitors, DirecTV and Dish Network, but also the agreement reached with Charter earlier this year and the agreement reached with Mediacom just last week. The pricing proposed by Sinclair is also less than what published reports indicate the cable industry pays for less popular programming streams, such as ESPN, TNT, the Disney Channel, FOX News and others. Sinclair has also offered to match the pricing pursuant to which Time Warner Cable claims it will be able to continue to carry Fox network programming, a proposal which Time Warner has also rejected without even making a counter-proposal. Time Warner has also rejected Sinclair's suggestion to resolve the dispute using a fair and reasonable binding arbitration process. The expiring agreement with Time Warner Cable relates to carriage of 33 television stations received by more than 8.5 million of what Time Warner Cable refers to as primary service units.
"We simply do not understand why Time Warner insists on being treated better than its competition," stated Barry Faber, Sinclair's Executive Vice President and General Counsel, "rather than accepting our equitable proposal to provide them equivalent or better pricing than is paid by their competition. It is particularly troubling that Time Warner would deprive its subscribers of the extremely popular programming broadcast by our television stations when the monthly per station increase we are seeking amounts to just ten cents per subscriber, an increase made necessary by rapidly increasing programming costs at our stations. With such a small increase we suspect that most of our loyal viewers would prefer that Time Warner Cable, which recently announced a fee increase of $3.00 per month in at least one market, stop acting on its threat to 'Get Tough' and we hope that these viewers will let Time Warner Cable know this by switching to alternative video providers, many of which charge less than Time Warner Cable and none of which are currently at risk of losing access to any of the stations involved."
Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc., one of the largest and most diversified television broadcasting companies, owns and operates, programs or provides sales services to 58 television stations in 35 markets. Sinclair's television group reaches approximately 22% of U.S. television households and is affiliated with all major networks. Sinclair owns equity interests in various non-broadcast related companies.
The Company regularly uses its website as a key source of Company information and can be accessed at www.sbgi.net.
SOURCE Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.