Officials with Rhode Island-based Lin TV Corp., the parent company of WISH-TV Channel 8, and Bright House Networks were still huddled together as of 11 a.m. trying to iron out an agreement that would put the local channel back on the cable dial.
Officials for Bright House-which has 125,000 central Indiana subscribers-have refused to pay what Lin requested to retransmit the signals of its channels, which also includes WNDY-TV Channel 23 and WIIH-TV Channel 17. The channels were pulled at Lin’s request shortly after midnight.
“We’re asking for less than a penny per channel per subscriber,” said WISH General Manager Jeff White.
Bright House’s local President Buz Nesbit said Lin is asking more for WISH than the cable company pays to re-transmit WTHR-TV Channel 13, WRTV-TV Channel 6 or WXIN-TV Channel 59. Due to confidentiality clauses in contracts, Nesbit said he could not divulge the terms of those contracts.
“We are disappointed and shocked that Lin would cut off their nose in spite of their face,” Nesbit said.
Both sides still hope a deal can be worked out before Sunday’s Indianapolis Colts game, which will air on WISH, but Nesbit isn’t sure that will happen.
Lin officials walked away from the negotiating table at 12:20 a.m., he said and haven’t been responsive to counter-offers since.
“When they just keep saying, ‘No, no, no,’ it’s difficult to tell if negotiations are far apart or close to getting done,” Nesbit said. “We think the responsible thing to do is to continue airing the station on our cable network while negotiations continue, but [Lin officials] won’t let that happen.”
WISH’s White pointed out that Lin has already reached similar agreements with Comcast Cable, DirecTV, Dish Network and AT&T U-verse.
“What we’re asking for is not unprecedented,” White said. “What we’re asking for is very reasonable.”