Deadline extended on TV negotiations for WTVC, Fox and AT&T

Some area viewers may lose access to WTVC, WDSI

Staff Photo by Dan Henry/Chattanooga Times Free Press - March 26, 2012. WTVC-News Channel 9.

With three great-grandchildren living with her and no internet connection at home, Goldia Harmon would hate to lose access to two of her favorite local television stations.

But Ms. Harmon was waiting Friday evening for WTVC NewsChannel 9 and WDSI FOX Chattanooga to go dark as the deadline passed for two communications giants - Sinclair Broadcasting and AT&T - to reach an agreement on retransmission rates.

"I don't want to pay for something I'm not going to get," said Ms. Harmon, a DirecTV subscriber who has lived in rural Lookout Mountain, Georgia, since 1971.

At issue are retransmission rates, the amount per subscriber that cable or satellite providers pay television providers for the content they get from local channels. The negotiations had already been extended five weeks past their original deadline, and talks continued into Friday evening as the deadline was extended to midnight.