Cox Cable has reached an agreement with Nexstar for re-transmission consent of their channels.
This means that all Nexstar stations that had been pulled out of the Cox stable will now be back in the lineup. Even though they did not disclose the finer details of the agreement, it is understood that the agreement will cover 13 stations across nine markets.
“Programming has returned to the Cox lineup in all impacted markets. We appreciate our customers’ patience and support as we sought to reach an agreement on behalf of our customers,” Cox confirmed in a press statement.
After months of negotiating, Cox announced on January 30 that Nexstar had decided to remove their channels from the Cox line up, becoming the latest station owner to rely on re-transmission fees in an effort to boost their bottom line. Since then, Cox had maintained that they were ready to sit down and negotiate with Nexstar over the matter.
At the time of the stalemate, Cox complained that Nexstar had not changed their offer in 2 weeks and were still demanding three times more for its free over-the-air stations for Cox customers in Las Vegas; Phoenix; Baton Rouge; Acadiana, LA; Pittsburg, KS; Roanoke, VA; Ft. Smith and Springdale, AR and Florida’s Gulf Coast.
That came on the heels of announcing a $4.6 billion deal to acquire Media General, raising the specter that they are using retransmission fees to fund these deals. Programmers and distributors have been on a collision course over the recent years thus this was not the first one. In January, Dish Network LLC and Minnesota-based media conglomerate Cordillera Communications LLC were embroiled in a similar tussle.
The former accused the latter of pulling its broadcast signals during NFL wild-card playoff games in multiple markets to use the games as leverage. High fees charged by programmers have been one of the main causes for such conflicts.