MOBILE, Ala. - Why might I lose WALA-TV Fox10News and The CW on WBPG-TV on my Bright House Networks cablesystem?
Bright House Networks has a short-term agreement to carry theanalog signals of WALA-TV Fox10 News and The CW on WBPG-TV on itscable system. The agreement expires on October 2, 2008. Forthe past two months, our parent company, LIN TV, has attempted toreach a new long-term agreement or a contract extension with BrightHouse Networks for both our analog and high-definition signals,however, Bright House Networks has not responded to our proposals.
What is LIN TV asking for in itsproposals?
LIN TV is asking for fair market compensation for itstelevision station’s signal, which amounts to less than apenny a day per station/per subscriber. Cable companies often saythat local broadcasters have “unreasonable demands”when it comes to carriage agreements. We do not believe that apenny a day per station/per subscriber is an unreasonable demandfor our award-winning news, sports and entertainment programming.It is actually much less than what cable companies compensate manyof its cable networks, none of which have the high viewing of yourlocal FOX and CW stations.
What if an agreement cannot bereached by the time the contract expires?
Under Federal law, Bright House Networks cannot carry oursignals without an agreement. If Bright House Networks does notnegotiate a new contract or extension by the time the currentcontract expires on October 2, 2008, we expect Bright HouseNetworks will pull WALA-TV Fox10 News and The CW on WBPG-TV off itscable system and deprive viewers of popular sports programming,including the Major League Baseball’s 2008 National LeagueChampionship Series from October 9th to the 18th, the World Seriesfrom October 22nd to the 30th, NFL’s NFC Divisional Playoffgames on January 10th and 11th, the NFC Championship Game onJanuary 18th, and entertainment programming, such as Oprah andHouse.
Has LIN TV reached agreements withany other cable companies?
LIN TV has reached carriage agreements with every majorcable, telecommunications, and satellite operator that carries ourstations, except for Bright House Networks. We know from thoseagreements that what we are asking for is very reasonable.
Why should Bright House Networkspay for a signal that is available for free to over-the-airviewers?
Bright House Networks profits from including broadcaststations, like WALA-TV Fox10 News and The CW on WBPG-TV, in itsline-up, and like any other business, they should pay fair marketcompensation, or less than a penny a day per station/persubscriber, for that ability to resell our stations to theirsubscribers.
Local broadcast stations are among the most importantchannels cable operators provide. WALA-TV Fox10 News reports-- around-the-clock -- on Mobile’s news, politics, traffic,weather emergencies, and public service announcements.
Bright House Networks charges its customers a fee for localbroadcast stations. It also charges a fee for cable networkswhich have much less viewing than broadcast stations. Some ofthese fees are passed on to the cable networks who use that moneyto compete with broadcast stations by producing and buyingprogramming. Local broadcasters deserve and need the sametreatment as the cable networks. Without their fair share ofthese monthly fees, which amounts to less than a penny a day perstation/per subscriber, local stations will not be able to continueto provide top quality news, sports, entertainment, and other localprogramming that is most important to you.
Will my cable rates go up ifBright House Networks pays your station?
That depends on Bright House Networks. They already chargeyou to receive the local stations as part of your monthly cablebill. Will Bright House Networks lower your bill if you arenot able to watch WALA-TV Fox10 News and The CW on WBPG-TV afterOctober 2nd?
How can I continue to watchWALA-TV Fox10 News and The CW on WBPG-TV?
The first thing you should do is call Bright House Networks.Let them know that WALA-TV Fox10 News and The CW on WBPG-TV areimportant to you, and that you want to continue watching yourfavorite local news and programming. Bright House Networks’phone number is (850) 968-2210.
We also encourage you to call DISH to see if WALA-TV Fox10News and The CW on WBPG-TV are available in your area. Their phonenumber is 1-888-DISH-950 and they are offering a $50 incentive ifyou switch from Bright House Networks to the DISH Network service.
Don’t forget, you can always use an antenna. WALA-TVFox10 News and The CW on WBPG-TV broadcast in both standard analogformat and in digital HDTV format. Most viewers will simplyneed a switch to be able to watch completely for free using anover-the-air antenna.
What kind of antenna do Ineed?
A standard VHF/UHF outdoor antenna is best for both analogand digital HDTV signals. The Consumer ElectronicsAssociation has a free website that will help you determine whatkind of antenna you need for your particular location.
What if my neighborhood has rulesagainst outdoor antennas?
In 1996, the Federal Government overruled any state and localordinances, rules and neighborhood covenants, that prevented theuse of outdoor antennas or consumer satellite dishes. Moreinformation is available at the following FCC web page:http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html
If you just don’t like the look of a rooftop antenna orsatellite dish, in some cases it might be possible to install anantenna in your attic and achieve good results.
How can I talk to someone inperson about this dispute with Bright House Networks?
You may call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week. Our phonenumber is 1-800-896-1659.
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