The Time Warner-Channel 4 dispute caught the attention of Gov. David Paterson Friday. He urged the two sides to return to the negotiating table and offered his deputy secretary for labor and financial regulation to assist in the talks.

In a letter to Glenn A. Britt, president and chief executive officer of Time Warner Cable, and Vincent L. Sadusky, president and CEO of LIN TV Corp., the governor also said Sunday’s Bills game against the San Diego Chargers should be broadcast while the sides talk.

“These games are an important engine of the state economy, but, on an emotional level, they are also a source of state pride,” Paterson said in the letter sent this afternoon.

“I understand that you have a responsibility to your shareholders to maximize revenue, but right now, all sides are hurting,” Paterson wrote. “LIN TV is losing because WIVB-TV and WNLO-TV are hemorrhaging viewers and advertising revenue. Time Warner Cable is losing because its subscribers are increasingly switching to other providers. And the reputations of both companies are being damaged.”

Paterson encouraged the sides to take him up on his offer to bring Hitchcock into the talks. The Paterson aide was recently part of the negotiations involving the state, the Federal Reserve and American International Group that led to a federal bailout of the insurance giant.