Two Wichita TV stations are back on the air in 2019 after settling disputes

The Wichita Eagle

Two Wichita network TV stations have settled disputes with television providers at the eleventh hour.

KSN-TV will continue on Cox Communications uninterrupted into 2019, and KAKE-TV is back on Dish Network after a nearly yearlong stalemate with the company.

On Monday, the Eagle had previously reported KSN-TV’s parent company, Nexstar Media Group, was in a dispute with Cox Communications.

By mid-afternoon, the station announced Nexstar had reached an agreement to continue offering KSN through 2019 on Cox.

Also, just minutes before, KAKE-TV announced the station had ended its nearly yearlong impasse with Dish Network, on which the station had been blacked out since January

Its parent company, Lockwood Broadcasting Group, struck a multi-year deal to restore its stations on Dish Network.

Television providers like Cox and Dish Network have to negotiate to include stations like KSN and KAKE — over-the-air broadcast networks — in its channel lineup, and the station reserves the right to deny the channel if the provider won’t pay what the station (or, in most cases, its parent company) deems a fair price.

“Every cable, satellite and telco provider has to negotiate for the right to carry the signal from every network and station at some point,” Mandy Wilbert, senior manager of public affairs for Cox Kansas, said in an email. “These sorts of blackouts are now happening in record numbers. There is no guarantee for consumers that at some point similar stalemates will not result in the loss of any given channel for any provider’s customers.”

“We know this may be frustrating to our customers, but we’re hoping they’ll agree that this negotiation is worth the effort to ensure we are delivering quality TV shows and channels at a reasonable price,” Wilbert said.

Matt Riedl covers arts and entertainment news for the Wichita Eagle and has done so since 2015. He maintains the Keeper of the Plans blog on Facebook, dedicated to keeping Wichitans abreast of all things fun.