Cox Communications cable subscribers will lose KAKE-TV programming after Jan. 6, if a contract dispute between the two isn’t ironed out.
KAKE owner Gray Television was originally going to lose its signal at midnight Dec. 31 on Cox in several markets, but the two sides agreed to extend the deadline a week to continue negotiations.
Bryan Frye, marketing manager for KAKE, said if no agreement is reached by Jan. 6, the ABC station’s programming would be taken off Cox, but would remain on ATT’s Uverse, Dish Network and as a free, over-the-air broadcast signal.
The outages would affect the Wichita metro area, as well as Salina, Dodge City and Garden City among others places, he said.
“All I can tell you is we are seeking a fair deal,” Frye said.
Cox spokesman Dennis Clary said the public may not understand that Cox pays Gray for its signal, not the other way around. Gray is demanding more money for its content. Cox, he said, is seeking to hold down its costs so it can hold down the price increases its customers pay.
Cox maintains that Gray is seeking a 400 percent increase in the monthly fees the cable company pays it.
“What we are trying to do is fight for our customers so we can keep our prices fair,” he said.