By Alan Pergament
How much is it going to cost us?
That's the unanswered question that Time Warner Cable subscribers should be asking themselves after Friday's announcement that the cable company and the owner of Channel 4 and Channel 23 agreed on a deal to keep the local CBS and CW affiliates on the region's largest cable system.
It is unanswered because, as always happens in these situations, there are no details on what TWC agreed to pay LIN Media to carry stations in 14 markets that serve 1.5 million subscribers.
Since the deal was announced only minutes after the previous deal was set to expire, one can assume that TWC didn't have to pay the 50 percent increase it claimed LIN was seeking and that it got what it was looking for -- a fair deal that likely wouldn't lead to a large cable bill rate increase. But that doesn't mean there won't be some increase.
Once the next cable rate increase is announced -- and you know one is more likely to come eventually than a big Buffalo Sabres trade this offseason -- TWC is expected to cite increased costs as it usually does. But it never blames it on one deal like this one with LIN Media and never explains the cost of any of the deals it makes with station owners, broadcast groups or cable networks.