Tribune, Charter End Blackout That Caused Viewers to Miss NFL

(Bloomberg) -- Tribune Media Co. and Charter Communications Inc. reached an agreement on retransmission fees, ending a blackout that caused some of Charter’s Spectrum cable customers to miss football playoff games.

  • The blackout that started Jan. 2 meant subscribers in 24 markets couldn’t watch Tribune-owned local stations or the company’s WGN America channel. The companies didn’t disclose the terms of the new pact.

Key Insights

  • Transmission-fee fights that lead to blackouts are becoming more common as U.S. cable companies lose subscribers to services such as Netflix. But they also risk angering consumers by allowing blackouts to occur.
  • In another recent clash, Verizon Communications Inc. and Walt Disney Co. avoided a blackout of college-football bowl games on New Year’s Day with a last-minute agreement Dec. 30.

Market Reaction

  • Charter shares were up 1.6 percent since the blackout began, while Tribune shares rose 0.9 percent.

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  • For more details, click here.
  • Read the statement here.

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