Ed Ansin the owner of WHDH in Boston says that NBC is trying to steal his station right out from under him.
NBC wants to have an O&O in Boston and according to Ansin they are playing hardball with WHDH.
Ansin said NBC officials told him in September that they would not extend his affiliation agreement, which expires at the end of 2016. Without shows like “The Voice” and “Saturday Night Live,” WHDH’s value would drop substantially, but Ansin was told the peacock network would buy his license and broadcast facility for about $200 million.
The Boston Globe reports that Ansin said NBC is threatening to move its programming to another area station it owns, WNEU-TV, which currently broadcasts Telemundo. NBC would house its local news operation at New England Cable News, which is expanding its studio in Newton. Cable giant Comcast owns both NBC and NECN.
The 79-year-old media mogul, however, balked at NBC’s offer. He said he wouldn’t consider selling unless the network ponies up more than $500 million and WLVI-TV (Channel 56), another Boston station he owns, is included in the deal.
“It’s not that I want to sell,” Ansin said by telephone from Miami. But given NBC’s hardball tactics, he would look at an offer if the price is right. “Would I consider it? I guess I would have to.”
Shawn Feddeman, a spokeswoman for NBC, declined to comment.
Stay tuned, this is going to get real interesting.