A dispute over programming charges has prompted Hearst Corp.-owned television stations in Maine, New Hampshire and Boston to black out their signals to Time Warner Cable, according to the cable provider.
In Maine, that means Portland-based WMTW Channel 8 is not available on Time Warner Cable. The other stations affected are WMUR-TV in Manchester, N.H., WNNE-TV in Hanover, N.H., and WCVB-TV in Boston.
Hearst and Time Warner Cable have been in negotiations over carrying fees. The cable company said in a written statement Tuesday Hearst was seeking a nearly 300 percent increase in a new agreement.
In the statement, Andrew Russell, communications manager for the cable company, called that "way out of line. That kind of outrageous increase is unfair to our customers and unsustainable for our business."
A message posted on Channel 8's website reads: "Negotiations for the renewal of the agreement that authorized Time Warner to provide its subscribers with our local news, network and other programming broadcast by WMTW are at an impasse."
Efforts to reach a spokesperson for that station or Hearst Corp. Tuesday were unsuccessful.