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Broadcast agreement between Wichita NBC affiliate and Cox Communications set to expire

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, March 6, 2014, at 10:50 a.m.
  • Updated Thursday, March 6, 2014, at 5:32 p.m.

KSN and its parent company, LIN Media, are warning viewers that their broadcast agreement with Cox Communications will expire next week, and unless a new agreement is struck, the stations owned by LIN will not air on the cable provider’s system.

The local NBC affiliate said on its website that the current agreement will expire at 4 p.m. March 14.

Sarah Kauffman, Cox spokeswoman in Wichita, said such agreements call for the cable provider to pay the broadcaster money for the right to air that broadcaster’s programming on the cable system. Kauffman said she could not provide financial or other details of the agreement that the two companies are working on, or if LIN is asking for a higher amount than is provided for in the current contract.

“Our goal here, and it always has been, is to continue to provide to our customers the best programming at a reasonable price,” Kauffman said. “We are working very hard to come to an agreement with LIN (Media).”

KSN said in a frequently asked questions section regarding the Cox agreement that it, like other TV stations, are “negotiating for fair compensation and an even playing field with cable networks.”

“The rates we are asking for are far less than what Cox pays for major sports networks and comparable to what they pay for some other cable networks that are viewed less than (KSN),” the station said on its website.

Eric Schrader, president and general manager of KSN, said in an e-mail response to questions from The Eagle that LIN officials are also working hard on a new agreement.

“However, we feel it is our duty to keep our viewers informed when a contract deadline approaches and a new agreement has not yet been reached,” Schrader said in the e-mail. “Our stations are important assets to the local community and we only want what is fair, so we can continue to serve our viewers.”

LIN Media owns KSN and its sister stations in Kansas, which are among 43 TV stations and seven digital channels the Austin, Texas-based company has in 23 states. Besides KSN, LIN’s programming on Cox in Wichita includes Telemundo, on Cox channel 308.

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