Nexstar and Cable Ops Face Off
Looks like we have not even seen the beginning of Nexstar's fight to make cable operators pay to re-broadcast its station's signals. In an article in USA Today, Nexstar Chief Operating Officer Duane Lammers says, ""We're going to a subscription-based world. Why shouldn't we be paid for content just like everybody else?"
The article says, "Most of the cash demands this year will likely come from non-network owners of affiliates. Early this year, Cable One and Cox Communications had to drop six ABC, NBC and CBS affiliates in towns such as Shreveport, La.; Abilene, Texas; and Joplin, Mo. The cable firms rejected demands from the stations' parent, Nexstar, for a per-subscriber fee of 30 cents a month for each channel."
The article continues," Both sides are making the most of the skirmish. Nexstar commercials urge viewers to defect to satellite. Cox and Cable One gave away antennas and switches so customers can toggle between cable and over-the-air services. Nielsen ratings show an audience drop of up to 50% for Nexstar stations, Multichannel News reported. Nexstar's Lammers disputes that and contends the cable systems lost up to 20% of their subscribers to satellite. The cable companies say the figure is lower. "
Programming Chief for Time Warner Cable Fred Dressler says, "Even Time Warner is facing cash demands from Nexstar and Sinclair in larger cities such as Kansas City and Minneapolis. "We have intention to remove our stations in all markets if we have to," says Lammers of Nexstar, which owns or operates 46 TV stations in 27 markets.
Dressler retorts, "If they are hellbent on getting cash, then we are hellbent on disaster."
Read the complete article HERE.
Nexstar is the parent company of KARK and KTAL.