Time Warner has taken KMBC off its cable package due to a dispute over fees, The Star reported today. KMBC, along with KCWE, is one of 13 Hearst-owned stations across the country to get the boot from Time Warner after Hearst demanded a 300-percent increase in fees it gets from the cable provider.
But negotiations continue, so the blackout could end sometime in the near future.
The dispute going this far suggests an increasingly tougher stance by broadcasters. Dennis Wharton, vice president of communications for the National Association of Broadcasters, said resorting to a blackout for a cable company’s transmission was fairly rare, but the industry has tired of being paid far less than many cable channels, even though they can provide a much larger audience.