Comcast, Hearst-Argyle amend retransmission deal

Fri, 10/24/2008 - 8:25am
Mike Robuck

On Wednesday, Hearst-Argyle Television filed a document with the Securities and Exchange Commission that said it has extended its retransmission-consent deal with Comcast.

The extension to the carriage deal was negotiated by Lifetime Entertainment Services, which is an entity owned 50 percent by an affiliate of The Hearst Corp. and 50 percent by Walt Disney Co. In addition to representing Hearst-Argyle Television, Lifetime Entertainment Services also assists Lifetime Television in negotiating distribution deals for its cable networks.

Last Friday, Hearst-Argyle and Lifetime Entertainment Services amended a previous retransmission agreement that was signed on April 2 to allow Comcast to extend the permitted term for carrying the broadcaster’s TV stations.

“As previously reported, the company believes that the material terms of the Lifetime Amendment and the Comcast Agreement constitute competitive information, and the company will seek confidential treatment of the material terms of the Lifetime Amendment and the Comcast Agreement,” according to Hearst-Argyle’s SEC filing. “The company estimates that the aggregate annual consideration amount payable to the company in 2009 under the Lifetime Agreement with respect to Comcast, as amended, and under the Comcast Agreement, will be less than 2.4 percent of the company’s estimated 2008 net operating revenues.”

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