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Cablevision Systems stops carrying Tribune stations

August 16, 2012|By Joe Flint
  • Cablevision CEO James Dolan.
Cablevision CEO James Dolan. (Associated Press )

Unable to reach a new distribution agreement, New York-based cable operator Cablevision Systems Corp. said it is no longer carrying TV stations owned by Tribune Co.

Cablevision stopped carrying Tribune's stations at midnight Thursday. Shortly after that, the cable operator issued a statement saying that "Tribune and their hedge fund owners are demanding tens of millions in new fees" for its New York City TV station WPIX and other stations it owns.

Cablevision has about 3 million subscribers, primarily in the New York City region. Besides WPIX-TV New York, other Tribune stations no longer on Cablevision systems include WCCT-TV in Connecticut and WPHL-TV Philadelphia.

Disputes between programmers and distributors are becoming commonplace in the television industry. Earlier this year, satellite broadcaster DirecTV briefly stopped carrying Tribune stations when the two sides were unable to reach an agreement. Eventually a new pact was signed.

A Tribune spokesman did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment, and there was no notice about the spat with Cablevision on either WPIX-TV's website or the Tribune site.

Tribune is the parent company of the Los Angeles Times.

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