City of Utica worried over whether Time Warner/WKTV deal will be ironed out

By WKTV News

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - A deadline looms for Time Warner Cable and WKTV ownership to reach an agreement on the fair value of the local programming WKTV provides daily. Negotiations have been ongoing for the past five years and the deadline is midnight Wednesday, December 15th. There is no agreement in sight.

If that continues to be the case, WKTV ownership will tell Time Warner that they can no longer carry their programming as of midnight. Utica city officials are among those concerned about what it will mean to thousands of Time Warner Cable customers in the city-most of whom have TVs, but not all of whom have computers.

"Whether it's something, pre-emption for emergency snow removal or emergencies within the city of when we do our local telethons for our humane society or whatever those are things that WKTV and all our local know, this is what we're about, this is about community," says Utica Mayor David Roefaro.

Among the sticking points in negotiations: agreeing on a fair value for the local programming WKTV provides daily in the Utica market, which includes eastern Oneida County, and all of Herkimer and Otsego Counties. Ratings are one factor.

WKTV Program Director Tom Coyne says that, of the top 10 locally-viewed programs on any channel or network in the month of November, four were regularly-scheduled WKTV newscasts. Time Warner and WKTV apparently disagree on the value of that.

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