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The appellate panel ruled that Time Warner legitimately had a statutory license to rebroadcast the signals of Nexstar's television stations in Rochester, NY; Terre Haute, Ind.; and Wilkes-Barre, Penn., to subscribers in other markets, including Winston-Salem, N.C., Cincinnati, Ohio, Louisville, Ky., Burlington, Vt.; Plattsburgh, NY; and Orlando, Fla. The plaintiff alleged in its July 2012, breach of contract action that Time Warner was not paying for retransmission of the signals and that it ran afoul of FCC nonduplication rules by, for example, broadcasting the same syndicated programming to its Winston-Salem subscribers at the same time as another station in the market.
The appeals court found the parties' retransmission consent agreement was broad and not geographically restrictive. Judge E. Grady Jolly concluded in the panel's opinion that the agreement gave "Time Warner broad authority to retransmit Nexstar signals on Time Warner stations." Moreover, the appellate panel ruled Nexstar failed to put Time Warner on notice concerning its alleged breach of the nonduplication rules.
Tip of the hat to Courthouse News Service for reporting on this decision.