27 Dec Tribune Advises Spectrum Subscribers of Possible Service Interruptions
Contract Covering 33 Local Stations in 24 Markets Expires Jan. 1, 2019;
Six Million Viewers Affected, WGN America Cable Network Also Impacted
CHICAGO (Dec. 27, 2018)– Tribune Broadcasting television stations in 24 markets across the United States have begun informing Spectrum subscribers that they may lose the local news, traffic, weather, sports and entertainment programming provided by the company’s 33 television stations in those markets at 12 a.m. ET Jan. 1, 2019, when the contract between Tribune Broadcasting and Spectrum expires.
More than six million subscribers could be impacted if an agreement is not reached; in addition to local news, such programming as the National Football League playoffs and NCAA basketball could be lost. At the same time, more than 14 million subscribers nationwide also may lose access to WGN America, Tribune’s basic entertainment cable network and the home of hit shows “Bellevue” and “100 Code”.
“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.”
Tribune has established websites for each of its affected television stations and for WGN America where Spectrum customers can obtain more information about the potential for service interruptions. Spectrum customers are being urged to call the company directly at 1-833-267-6094 to voice their concern about any possible service interruption.
“We are only a few days away from the deadline to reach an agreement with Spectrum, just as we have done with every one of our other cable, satellite and telco distributors,” said Weitman. “We felt that now was the time to begin telling Spectrum subscribers that they may lose access to our stations and the programming they provide.”
Tribune Media Company (NYSE: TRCO) is home to a diverse portfolio of television and digital properties driven by quality news, entertainment and sports programming. Tribune Media is comprised of Tribune Broadcasting’s 42 owned or operated local television stations reaching approximately 50 million households, national entertainment cable network WGN America, whose reach is more than 77 million households, and a variety of digital applications and websites commanding 54 million monthly unique visitors online. Tribune Media also includes Chicago’s WGN-AM, the national multicast networks Antenna TV and THIS TV, and Covers Media Group, an unrivaled source of online sports betting information. Additionally, the Company owns and manages a significant number of real estate properties across the U.S. and holds a variety of investments, including a 31% interest in Television Food Network, G.P., which operates Food Network and Cooking Channel.
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