Now that LIN has finally hammered out a retransmission deal with someone that services Green Bay (albeit non-HD for the time being), what are your predictions for seeing similar deals to bring WLUK HD to cable and DirecTV this year?
I'll start things off.
- DIRECTV - DEAL
I predict we'll see a DirecTV deal, but not until very late this year. I think LIN will want to take this retransmission / promotional deal with Dish out for a spin first. I think LIN as a corporation is way more chummy with satellite cos. than cable ops.
- AT&T - DEAL
We've already heard that WLUK has a deal in place for U-Verse, but whether we see it in 2008 is wholly dependent on whether AT&T can even get their service up and running before the end of the year. (If they want to take any reasonable amount of market share in this area, they need to be up and running by the first Packer game of next season for certain.)
- CABLE - NO DEAL
I predict there will be no deal to bring WLUK HD to cable this year. WLUK/LIN clearly hates cable and doesn't care about their subscribers, as evidenced by talking points we've heard from Jay Zollar, as well as the intent of deals like LIN made with Dish Network. That retransmission pact was clearly angled to put negotiation leverage against cable in LIN's court. Given that, I don't think Time Warner or other cablers will crack under pressure of Dish Network's pro-LIN ads, unless LIN makes their asking price more reasonable.
What do you think?