Time Warner Cable and Walt Disney Co. agreed to keep ABC, ESPN and other channels on the air as the two companies continued negotiations past a midnight deadline.
The media companies are trying to reach a new contract and avoid blackouts for Time Warner Cable customers, but haven't come to terms on a new deal. Their existing contract expired at midnight.
"We continue to negotiate - there should be no programming interruption while the negotiations continue," Time Warner Cable spokesman Keith Poston wrote in an e-mail this morning. "Stay tuned."
Time Warner Cable has about 2.1 million customers in the Carolinas and is the Triangle's dominant pay-TV provider with 830,000 customers in the region from Raleigh to the coast.
As with similar disputes in the past, this fight is about money. Disney wants more for its programming, including its popular sports channels and websites. Time Warner Cable is resisting paying higher fees for every subscriber.
This region's ABC station, WTVD, is one of 10 across the country owned by Disney and is part of the negotiations.
An extended standoff could be costly for both companies and prompt some cable customers to defect to rival pay-TV services. In January, Time Warner Cable resolved a dispute with News Corp. at the last minute and avoided programming disruptions.
On Wednesday, AT&T dropped the Hallmark Channel from its U-Verse TV service after negotiations for a new distribution agreement stalled, Bloomberg News reported.