At least six million Charter Spectrum customers could lose access to Tribune Media-owned outlets at 12:01 am on Jan. 1 because the two companies have yet to reach agreement on a retransmission consent contract extension.
Almost three dozen over-the-air stations are impacted, including WGN Chicago, WPIX New York, and KTLA Los Angeles. If the stations are blacked out, customers will also lose access to the NFL playoffs and NCAA basketball games aired on those stations.
“The NFL playoffs begin Jan. 5 and we want football fans in our markets to be able to watch these games and root for their favorite teams—we want to reach an agreement with Spectrum,” said Gary Weitman, Tribune Media’s senior vice president for corporate relations. “We’ve offered Spectrum fair market rates for our top-rated local news, live sports and high-quality entertainment programming, and similarly fair rates for our cable network, WGN America. Spectrum has refused our offer.”
Charter Communications claims it is working hard to find a fair agreement with Tribune, which will likely include a significant rate hike with the broadcast station owner that will eventually be passed on to Spectrum subscribers as part of the Broadcast TV surcharge, now approaching $10 a month in many areas.
Thanks to Phillip Dampier (see source)