Policy

Cable One, Nexstar Settle

12/19/2005 2:54 AM Eastern

After a nearly year-long dispute, Cable One Inc. and Nexstar Broadcasting Group Inc. have settled a retransmission-consent dispute that kept a handful of TV stations off cable in three markets since last January, company officials said Monday.

The Phoenix-based cable operator and the broadcaster signed a retransmission-consent deal Friday. That afternoon, the four stations involved -- NBC affiliate KSNF and ABC affiliate KODE in Joplin, Mo. (which is owned by Mission Broadcasting Inc. but managed by Nextel); NBC affiliate KTAL in Shreveport, La.; and NBC affiliate KAMR in Amarillo, Texas -- were back on Cable One’s lineup, according to Nexstar executive vice president Duane Lammers.

Lammers and Cable One spokeswoman Melany Stroupe declined to comment on whether the MSO had finally agreed to the broadcasters’ original demands -- being paid cash for carriage of its TV stations. Nexstar had originally sought a 30-cent monthly license fee per subscriber for its stations.

While declining to discuss any specific terms, Lammers said, “If we wouldn’t have gotten the value we wanted, then we wouldn’t have done the deal.”

Nexstar had reached about 30 retransmission-consent renewals this year, according to Lammers. Some cable systems are paying cash for carriage, he said.

“We have changed the industry,” he added. “We are getting paid cash from a lot of operators, so from that standpoint, it’s mission accomplished. I can’t talk about any of our deals specifically, but I can just tell you that it has been a fruitful period for us.”

Back in October, Nexstar settled a similar year-long retransmission-consent dispute with Cox Communications Inc., which also had resulted in Nexstar stations being pulled off cable last Jan. 1.

The stations involved in the Cable One dispute were off for 350 days, according to Lammers.

In November, the Federal Communications Commission said it was fining Cable One $20,000 for unlawfully importing a Tulsa, Okla., station in the Joplin market, where the operator had been forced to drop KSNF and KODE.

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