In a piece nicely laying out the playbook in the recent retransmission battles (like Cablevision vs. ABC that threatened the Academy Awards telecast two Sundays ago), Broadcasting and Cable's Marisa Guthrie lays out the next three big likely retransmission fights:
- August 2010: ABC-Time Warner Cable
- October 2010: Fox-Cablevision
- Fall 2010: Fox-Dish Network
My guess is that the Fox-Cablevision battle will be the most heated. Fox will have the World Series upcoming and Cablevision has figured prominently in several retransmission battles already. Time Warner, to date, seems less contentious, and ABC's got nothing big in August to hold up as a "must see". And there hasn't been a big battle with a satellite or telco provider like Dish Network yet. My guess is that they're still playing the TV provider underdog role, and are happy to pay up for the time being and let the cable MSOs take the point in the fights.