Cable ONE is currently in negotiations with Hearst Television in Norfolk, West Point, and South Sioux City, NE; Altus, Ponca City, Elk City, Sulphur, and Davis, OK; Rio Rancho and Roswell, NM; Anniston, AL; Diamondhead, Brookhaven, Natchez, McComb, and Yazoo City, MS. If an agreement is not reached by midnight on December 31, Hearst Television has the right to force Cable ONE to remove all of their stations from the Cable ONE channel line-up.
"It's our goal to come to a fair agreement with Hearst by the contract expiration date in order to avoid disruption to our customers," said Cable ONE Vice President Mitch Bland. "Negotiations have been very slow and resolving this negotiation by the deadline at this point appears very unlikely, unfortunately increasing the real chance of disruption to our customers. We will continue to reach out to Hearst with offers that are more than fair in hopes of reaching an equitable agreement for our customers by the deadline."
Bland said that Hearst Television is currently asking for a rate increase of more than 100% - more than double their previous contract with Cable ONE.
Despite the following quote on Hearst's website today - "Hearst has a long history of successfully concluding carriage agreements with cable companies and other satellite distributors with no disruption of service to subscribers," Hearst is currently in a similar battle with DirecTV over stations in 28 markets across the country. They are warning DirecTV customers about the likelihood of these channels going dark as well if an agreement can't be reached.
Bland said Hearst's difficult negotiation with DirecTV could be impacting negotiations with Cable ONE.
"We realize that Hearst's main focus may currently be on resolving their bigger deal with DirecTV, but our hope is that Cable ONE customers don't suffer as result of living in smaller, more rural markets that aren't as impactful to Hearst's bottom line," Bland said.
More information about this negotiation is available at www.StopProgrammingHikes.com
About Cable ONE
Cable One, Inc. is among the 10 largest cable companies in the United States. Serving more than 650,000 customers in 19 states with high-speed Internet, cable television and telephone service, Cable ONE provides consumers with a wide range of the latest products and services, including wireless Internet service, high-definition programming and phone service with free, unlimited long-distance calling in the continental U.S.
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