Every 3 years, local channels retransmission consent agreements expire. According to the FCC, we can't carry over the air local stations without consent of the station, and they are allowed to charge a fee in exchange, even if their signal is marginal like we experience from Cincinnati, Lexington and Evansville stations. There are no real rules other than the agreements when renewed must be negotiated in good faith between the channel and the cable/satellite provider. If the station wants any amount of money they ask for, and we don't agree, we can't carry it.
Currently we are negotiating for all of the local channels. If their rates stayed within a 1.5-3% increase annually like ESPN and your favorite cable news channels, our cable TV bill would be MUCH lower than it is today, and the product would be better overall. However what the massive corporations that own these stations are asking for next year is along the lines of 75% higher than this year. Overall the fees demanded from local stations have risen in the last decade 1500 times the rate of inflation.
We would like to know when or if there is a time for us to flat out say no to them. Your feedback on just four questions to help us decide on what to do next with local channels. We will enter you into a drawing for a $25 gift card if you choose to provide your name and email address at the end of the survey.
This survey will close October 29th at midnight and the drawing will be held October 30 at noon.
In 2018, the owners of Inside Connect (what is now White Cloud under new ownership) made the difficult decision to drop WKRC Local 12, a Sinclair Corp owned CBS Station out of Cincinnati Ohio., from their Owen County Cable TV lineup.
Why was it dropped?
This was due to a higher rate than they felt was fair, and due to the requirement that the Tennis channel, a satellite network, is launched carried on the Essentials tier. Not only would this requirement have caused rates to go even higher, but this would have set a precedent that we would have licensed satellite channels and broadcasts stations under the same agreement.
Wait, aren't you getting locals for free with an antenna?
Broadcast stations per an outdated law, are allowed to negotiate fees and terms in order for a cable provider like White Cloud, to carry their station. We can't retransmit their signal over the cable without their consent which requires paying them a large fee.
How can we get WKRC Back?
We would need to negotiate with Sinclair Corp, which owns the station among hundreds of others in 89 markets and negotiate terms and the retransmission consent fee. This is no guarantee, however, that agreeable terms will be met.
What do you think?
We could reach out to WKRC to begin this negotiation, BUT there are some questions we would like to put out to see what our customers would prefer before we do. If you will take a moment to complete the survey below, it will help us to make a decision.