WMOR-Ch. 32 returns to Bright House Networks in Tampa Bay as Hearst resolves dispute with cablers
Hearst Television outlets WMOR-Ch. 32, This TV and estrelleTV Tampa all returned to Bright House networks' cable system early this morning, following the successful completion of a retransmission agreement.
The new pact ended an outage which began at 11:59 p.m. July 9, when Hearst pulled its channels from Time Warner and Bright House cable systems. Hearst and Time Warner (which negotiates such agreements for Bright House) could not agree on terms for a new retransmission agreement.
Time Warner said Hearst wanted a 300 percent increase in fees; Hearst said they wanted an increase of pennies on the dollar that would bring their fees into line with what other companies pay. Terms of the new agreement were not revealed publicly.
The news came on the same day Viacom resolved a similar dispute with DirecTV which saw 26 channels pulled from the satellite TV provider on July 10. A press release from DirecTV noted "In addition to the channels’ return, DIRECTV customers will also gain the ability to see Viacom programming on tablets, laptops, handhelds and other personal devices via the DIRECTV Everywhere platform."
The Hearst/Bright House 10-day outage also affected Orlando, where NBC affiliate WESH-TV was replaced with a station from Pennsylvania. Locally, WMOR was replaced with HBO Family and estrella was replaced by Bright House's regional Spanish-language news network, InfoMas.
Both outages created a public relations war among TV providers and cable/satellite systems, as all sides created TV commercials, websites, public statements and social media campaigns to convince customers the other side was more at fault.
But media experts expect such fights to only intensify and multiply, as more cable channels and TV stations seek higher fees from cable and satellite companies, which will resist fee hikes they are forced to pass along to their customers.