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WPIX-TV Blacked Out For Cablevision Customers Amid Ongoing Media Company Battle

(credit: Clipart.com)

(credit: Clipart.com)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — WPIX-TV New York and several other Tribune Co.-owned broadcast stations went dark on the Cablevision system Friday amid a dispute over retransmission fees.

Cablevision Systems Corp. said in a statement Friday that Tribune Co. is demanding tens of millions in new fees for WPIX and other Tribune Co. stations.

Tribune Co. said Cablevision blacked out its stations in the middle of negotiations on a new retransmission deal. It said it offered to extend the current agreement while talks continue.

1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon With More On The Story

The other stations that went dark on Friday are: WCCT, carried in parts of Connecticut; KWGN in some Optimum West markets; and WPHL in parts of New Jersey.

LINKS: More From Cablevision | Tribune’s Take On The Dispute

The dispute is only the latest in an ongoing battle between media companies such as Tribune Co. and cable and satellite providers that are balking at paying higher fees for programming. Distributors such as Cablevision have seen their profits squeezed because they have not been able to raise rates or add subscribers fast enough to offset higher programming fees.

Chicago-based Tribune Co. is working to exit bankruptcy protection it sought after a disastrous 2007 leveraged buyout.

Cablevision said Tribune Co. and its new ownership group, which includes hedge fund Oaktree Capital Management, is “trying to solve Tribune’s financial problems on the backs of Cablevision customers.”

Tribune Co. said it has never been compensated by Cablevision for the retransmission of its local channels. It said it is proposing fees that amount to less than a penny a day per subscriber from Cablevision, which is based in Bethpage, N.Y.

Cablevision shares rose 7 cents to close at $15.13.

Are you being affected by the blackout?  Share your thoughts in the comments section below…

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)