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Time Warner negotiations continue down to the wire

Negotiations are continuing between Time Warner Cable and Sinclair Broadcast Group which owns regional Fox Network affiliates.

The deadline, originally scheduled for midnight Friday, was extended until 11:59 p.m. Saturday.

If an agreement is not reached, Time Warner could lose its right to broadcast Fox Network shows on WUHF in Rochester, as well as WMYO and WUTF in Buffalo and WSYT and WNYS in Syracuse.

“We’re still working hard to reach an agreement,” said Matthew Tremblay, communications specialist for Time Warner Cable’s Buffalo office. “We’re still hoping to avoid to a black out but even if Sinclair pulls the plug on Saturday night, Time Warner Cable will continue to provide all of our customers’ favorite Fox Network programming.”

Time Warner Cable has a separate deal with Fox, inked a year ago, to allow it to carry nationally broadcast programming which includes primetime shows such as “Glee,” “The Simpsons” and “House,” but not regionally or locally run reruns of the same shows and others the rest of the day.

Tremblay said Time Warner Cable will also be able to broadcast National Football League playoff games this weekend. That includes the 8 p.m. Saturday match up between the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons in Georgia, as well as the 1 p.m. Sunday game with the Chicago Bears hosting the Seattle Seahawks.

Time Warner’s contract with Sinclair expired Dec. 31. The two parties agreed to extend negotiations until Jan. 14 and today added another 24 hours.

“It’s certainly a positive sign that both sides are continuing to negotiate,” Tremblay said.

The main sticking point is money. Sinclair wants more, but Time Warner is not willing to up its share.

If an agreement is not reached, Fox shows could be blacked out in 21 markets including several in upstate New York.

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