East Hawaii News

Fee Dispute Removes KITV From Time Warner Cable

July 11, 2012, 4:39 PM HST
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A dispute over pricing is keeping KITV off Oceanic Time Warner Cable’s channel offerings.

Hearst Television, owner of KITV, and Time Warner have been unable to reach an agreement on the fee the cable company will pay to carry Hawaii’s ABC affiliate.

KITV is one of 13 television stations owned by Hearst not currently being seen on Time Warner cable. Hearst, which has a total of 29 stations, said it owns the nation’s largest group of ABC affiliates.

Negotiations between Hearst and Time Warner ended Monday, and the KITV signal was pulled from Time Warner at midnight.

Variety reported that Time Warner claimed Hearst cancelled negotiations and was seeking an “outrageous” 300% increase in its fee to carry the stations.

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Hearst disputed that amount, with a statement posted Tuesday on KITV’s website referring to “exaggerated and distorted claims.”

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Hearst said Time Warner was refusing to pay “a reasonable fee relative to what it pays for other significantly less popular channels.”

“We regret the inconvenience Time Warner Cable has imposed on its subscribers, and we will keep you fully informed of developments,” the Hearst statement said.

The Hearst statement also said Time Warner has falsely claimed that Hearst had “blacked out” its stations, saying they are still available from satellite providers such as DirecTV or for free over the air.

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However, KITV’s channel was blank to antenna users in East Hawaii on Tuesday, although it was back on today.

Meanwhile, DirecTV is in a fee dispute of its own with Viacom which on Tuesday prompted it to drop more than a dozen television channels including MTV, Nickelodean and Comedy Central. The dispute could continue for weeks, the Los Angeles Times reported today.

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