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WPTZ caught in cable dispute

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Cable TV viewers across northern New York and Vermont aren't getting their daily dose of local news, sports and weather from the Champlain valley. WPTZ has gone dark during an ongoing dispute between the station's parent company and Time Warner Cable.

Chris Morris reports Hearst Television wants Time Warner to pay more to carry its programming, but the cable provider has resisted.

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Reported by

Chris Morris
Tri-Lakes Correspondent


WPTZ hasn’t broadcast since Tuesday because of the dispute between Hearst and Time Warner. Instead, Time Warner is carrying WBRE out of Pennsylvania so its customers can still see NBC programming.

The local news and weather aren’t the same, but fans of popular network hits like 30 Rock and the Today Show can still see their favorite programming.

Hearst officials and representatives of WPTZ say Time Warner refuses to pay the station a reasonable fee compared to what it pays less popular channels.

Of course, like most disputes of this nature, Time Warner Cable sees the impasse differently. Officials for that company say Hearst is asking for four times more than what they’ve received in the past.

The impasse comes just two weeks before the London Olympic Games, which will be broadcast by NBC. Hearst urged viewers “to make alternative arrangements” to receive its signal. That means getting it over the airwaves for free or through other cable companies like DirecTV or DISH Network.

Time Warner responded by telling customers to tune into competing local news outlets like WCAX or YNN for regional coverage.

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