There's a new financial feud brewing among two media titans that could disrupt local cable-TV viewers later this summer.
This time, the dispute could knock out ABC programming for thousands of Time Warner Cable customers in the Triangle.
This market's ABC station, WTVD, is one of 10 ABC affiliates across the country that's owned by the Walt Disney Co. And Disney ABC Television's contract with Time Warner Cable is set to expire at the end of August.
Disney and other broadcasters want to collect new fees from cable providers to boost revenue. Time Warner Cable isn't eager to hand over any money for what has been free programming. The battle looms as advertising revenue remains soft and viewers defect from traditional TV fare.
"I think they will likely go toe-to-toe to the end," said Todd Mitchell, an media analyst with Kaufman Bros. in New York. "This is a hard time for both parties."
An ABC blackout would upset fans of popular sitcoms such as "Modern Family," dramas such as "Desperate Housewives," talk shows such as "Jimmy Kimmel Live," sports programming and more.