Hearst-Argyle, Cox Continue Negotiations for Signal Carriage of KHBS/KHOG
Source: KHBS/KHOG -TV Press Release KHBS/KHOG -TV Channel 40/29 and KHBS-KHOG TV-DT Channels 15/21, which are among Ft. Smith/Fayetteville/Rogers’ leading analog and digital television stations, respectively, announced on Monday that the digital high definition signal of KHBS/KHOG DT is no longer being carried on Cox cable television systems.
The removal of the station’s digital signals from the Cox system is the result of unsuccessful negotiations between representatives of Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc., KHBS/KHOG’s parent company, and Cox. 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 access to that programming.
So as not to inconvenience a large number of its viewers, Hearst-Argyle 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. However, Cox has not agreed to terms with Hearst-Argyle for the carriage of KHBS/KHOG-DT’s valuable high-definition digital programming. Viewers may call Cox corporate headquarters at (404) 843-5000.
“We’re greatly disappointed that Cox could not 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, for an additional monthly fee, and we’re certainly supportive of that. 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 return to negotiations quickly so as not to deprive Cox cable customers of high definition programming,” Prestwood added. “However, our viewers can still receive our high-definition signal using an appropriate tuner or antenna.”