There’s no danger of losing CBS network affiliation for four Meredith Corp. TV stations, thanks to a long-term deal reached Tuesday (1/24).
The new affiliation agreements with CBS Corp. ensure that network programming will continue on WGCL-46 in Atlanta, KPHO-5 in Phoenix, KCTV-5 in Kansas City, and WNEM-5 in Saginaw-Flint, Mich.
The new deal also includes the renewal of the Meredith affiliates’ participation in CBS All Access, the CBS Television Network’s digital subscription Video On Demand and Nielsen-measured live streaming service. It also includes a commitment to distribution via the new Hulu live multi-channel digital television service, and “participation in certain of the CBS Television Network’s future new entrant digital distribution deals” by all seven Meredith owned-and-operated CBS affiliates.
Meredith’s CBS affiliates also include KMOV-4 in St. Louis; WSHM-21 (branded as “CBS3”) in Springfield, Mass.; and WFSB-3 in Hartford. The affiliation agreements for those three stations were renewed last year.
“We are a longtime proud partner of Meredith, and this agreement will benefit both companies in the near and long-term,” said Ray Hopkins, president of network distribution for the CBS Television Network. “We are pleased that in extending this deal and committing to certain new and future digital distribution opportunities, Meredith recognizes the value that CBS’ hit programming brings to their business and, most importantly, the viewers in each market.”
In related news, WFSB remains absent from Altice USA Optimum Cable, due to a retransmission fee dispute between the two entities.
According to Altice, it was forced to pull the station from its systems in Connecticut on Jan. 13.
“Despite Altice USA’s willingness to pay a significant increase for carriage of WFSB, Meredith Corporation has pulled its programming from Optimum’s Connecticut customers as it seeks an outrageous increase in retransmission fees,” the company said in a release.
“Meredith Corp. has also denied Altice USA’s request to keep WFSB on while negotiations continue, abruptly removing the station from Optimum’s Connecticut TV lineup, which leaves a small number of customers in Litchfield and New Haven Counties without any CBS programming.”
Most Optimum customers in the Constitution State live in Fairfield County, which is a part of the New York DMA and continues to have access to CBS programming via flagship CBS Corp. O&O WCBS-2.
WFSB GM Klarn DePalma tells a different side of the story.
“WFSB has been trying for months to get Optimum from Altice to negotiate seriously. But after its transaction with Altice, Optimum is now part of one of the world’s largest cable giants. Reaching a deal and ending this blackout is our top priority. We know the vital local news, emergency information, and top-rated sports and entertainment programming we provide are important to Optimum from Altice customers, and we hope Optimum from Altice will make it a priority to reach a deal too.”