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KITV parent makes new offer for cable carriage

KITV parent company Hearst Television Inc. is awaiting a response from Time Warner Cable to the program carriage proposal submitted yesterday, a week into the blackout resulting from a contract dispute.

KITV has been unavailable via Oceanic Time Warner Cable since Tues., July 10, and the cable company has replaced KITV programming with the Hallmark Channel.

Hearst Television’s offer to Time Warner is within 5 percent of the cable company’s most recent offer to Hearst, yet Time Warner has failed to respond, Hearst said in a statement.

“As of today, Time Warner Cable is attempting to portray a stalemate – when none exists,” said Hearst Television President David Barrett.

“This dispute is ripe for settlement — today,” he said.

The National Association of Broadcasters issued a corollary statement sympathizing with viewers who are “used as pawns by Time Warner Cable, DISH Network and DirecTV in program carriage disputes,” said Dennis Wharton, NAB executive vice president of communications.

On its webpage devoted to carriage disputes, Time Warner Cable asserts that it is fighting rising costs and that one cause of rising cable TV prices is “higher fees being demanded by greedy broadcasters.”

Broadcast industry writer Harry Jessell reported in an editorial last week that the increases sought by broadcasters are “justified,” citing that while broadcast stations account for about 35 percent of all TV viewership, “they they received only 6.7 percent of the $30.9 billion that (multichannel video programming distributors) will pay to all programmers this year,” he wrote in TVNewsCheck.

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