Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: In a hell I call Kansas
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Here's a recent article posted on the Eagle website:
Posted on Fri, Aug. 13, 2004
Want HD Olympics? Not on Cox
BY BOB CURTRIGHT
The Wichita Eagle
NBC is offering 399 hours of high-definition coverage of the Summer Olympic Games from Athens beginning today.
But Wichitans with HDTV sets can't get it through Cox Communications, even though the company began offering HDTV service this year.
The reason is a financial dispute between Cox and the local NBC affiliate, KSN, Channel 3.
Simply put, Channel 3 wants Cox to pay for NBC's HDTV programs, and Cox has said no.
"We made a substantial investment in high definition, and we want to be compensated for it," Channel 3 general manager Shawn Oswald said.
"The reality of it is that Cox charges for high definition. It's a tier of their service, and one of the more expensive ones. If they make money off it, why shouldn't the people who made the investment?" Oswald said.
Cox spokesman Kristin Peck said negotiations for any compensation must be made at the corporate level between Cox and Channel 3's parent company, Emmis Communications.
"We would love to put NBC HDTV programming in our lineup, but they haven't given us permission," Peck said.
"At this point, we are not going to pay them," she said.
A similar situation exists with KWCH, Channel 12, whose HDTV programs also are not on Cox cable. Joan Barrett, Channel 12 general manager, said Cox and Media General, Channel 12's parent company, are in talks.
"It's my understanding that Media General is seeking a form of compensation, whether it's money or something else," Barrett said.
ABC affiliate KAKE, Channel 10, is the only local network affiliate that allows its HDTV signal to be carried on Cox -- on digital Channel 601. Terry Cole, Channel 10 general manager, declined to comment on the companies' compensation arrangement.
Cox and KAKE are partners in Kansas Now 22 (22 on cable), which is Channel 10's cable news outlet.
Even without cable HDTV, local viewers can see the Olympics in high definition, Oswald said.
KSN broadcasts the high-definition signal over the air, so viewers with an HDTV set can use an HDTV antenna, which costs between $100 and $300, Oswald said.
"We will help anybody who is interested. If they call the station, we will tell them where they can find the equipment and how to find the NBC HDTV Olympic signal," he said.