KHBS-KHOG’S Digital Signal Carriage May Be Discontinued On Cox System
Source: KHBS-KHOG-TV KHBS-KHOG-TV (Channels 40/29) and KHBS-KHOG-DT (Channels 15/21), the Fort Smith-Fayetteville-Springdale-Roger’s leading analog and digital television stations, respectively, today announced that the digital high definition signal of KHBS-KHOG-DT may no longer be carried on Cox cable television systems effective October 1, 2006, if the parties are unable to conclude retransmission-consent negotiations currently underway.
The removal of the station’s digital signals from the Cox system will only result if negotiations between representatives of Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc., KHBS-KHOG TV’s parent company, and Cox are unsuccessful in reaching a conclusion before October 1, 2006. Hearst-Argyle is seeking fair and reasonable terms from Cox in return for allowing Cox to carry KHBS-KHOG-DT’s programming and charge its subscribers for that programming. So as not to inconvenience a large number of its viewers, Hearst-Argyle currently anticipates that it will allow Cox to continue to retransmit KHBS-KHOG-TV’s primary analog signal while the companies continue to work in good faith toward a resolution of retransmission consent terms. Hearst-Argyle will decline to permit Cox, however, also to carry KHBS-KHOG-DT’s valuable high-definition digital programming if Cox refuses to complete a long-term contract governing the carriage of it.
“We’re greatly disappointed that Cox has yet to arrive at a mutually satisfactory solution,” said Jim Prestwood, KHBS-KHOG-TV/DT president and general manager. “Our station is a leader in our market and we’ve made substantial investments to bring our viewers high definition digital programming. Cox has been actively promoting to current and prospective subscribers the addition of our digital channel to its lineup, and charging its subscribers a premium for our high-definition signals. We’re certainly supportive of their adding and promoting our high-definition programming. But they won’t come to terms with us on providing fair consideration for that right. To allow any re-distributor of our station’s digital signal to benefit economically from our efforts without providing us a reasonable contract for that right would be unacceptable for us.” “We sincerely hope we and Cox can conclude our negotiations before October 1 so as not to deprive any of our respective viewers and customers of high definition programming,” Prestwood added.