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Thread: Channel 6 back on Cable One
12-17-2005 07:07 PM #1Stand against retrans!!!
Channel 6 back on Cable One
A 350-day standoff ended Friday as Cable One and Nexstar Broadcasting signed a multiyear retransmission agreement, bringing KTAL NewsChannel 6 back to the cable lineups of 21,000 cable TV subscribers in Texarkana.
“We reached an agreement in principle ... exchanged a couple contract drafts and literally got it done about an hour ago as far as signatures and everything,” Duane Lammers, Nexstar’s chief operating officer, said mid-afternoon Friday.
As he spoke, KTAL was being placed back on the air for local subscribers. KTAL had its local cable TV plug pulled at the beginning of the year when Nexstar, the parent company of KTAL, and Cable One failed to reach an agreement.
“There hadn’t been any contract from February until a couple weeks ago,” Lammers said.
Jay Butler, Cable One’s Texarkana general manager, said the company was pleased an agreement was reached.
“We’re very pleased that the companies have reached agreement and pleased to have the NBC programming back on the cable system,” Butler said.
The agreement also brings Nexstar Broadcasting stations back to Cable One in other markets, including Joplin, Mo., and Amarillo, Texas, Lammers said.
“This is an agreement that was reached for all Cable One systems that carry a Nexstar channel,” said Butler.
Cable One and Nexstar declined to give specifics of the deal, though Lammers said the new contract is longer than the two-year agreement that expired at the beginning of the year.
“The only thing I can tell you is that all the deals that we do, we got the economic value that we were looking for,” Lammers said.
Originally, Nexstar sought per-subscriber fees for carriage rights of its stations, arguing that broadcasting stations should be compensated for the programming they provide to cable companies. Cable One disagreed, and, when it lost KTAL’s signal, offered rabbit ear antennas and switches to customers so they could tune in to KTAL the old-fashioned way.
Cable One argued at the time that other arrangements, such as advertising and running commercials spots, had been a traditional part of the agreements cable companies and broadcasting stations made.
The company also said a monthly, 25-cent per-subscriber fee (which was Nexstar’s original request before raising it to 30 cents) would cost it $1.3 million. At the time, Cable One said about 23,000 customers would be affected.
Nexstar countered that its stations should be treated like other stations offered on Cable One and argued that Cable One pays cash fees for such stations as ESPN and MTV.
With Nexstar pushing this new concept, its stations were also pulled from Cox cable rosters this year until an agreement was reached in October, putting broadcast stations back on the air in Bossier City, La., and both San Angelo and Abilene, Texas.
“I think we have changed the basis on which the ways deals get done,” Lammers said, adding that despite the hardship on Nexstar employees, the holdout was worth it. “On the balance, it needed to be done.”
He said he was thankful Cable One worked in recent weeks to get a deal done.
“I just think at this point right now I’m pleased that it’s come to a resolution and we can move forward,” said Butler.
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