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Negotiations continue in fight that yanked KAKE programs off Cox cable

Bryan Frye, marketing manager for KAKE, had said if no agreement was 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.
Bryan Frye, marketing manager for KAKE, had said if no agreement was 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. File photo

Cox Communications and KAKE-TV said Wednesday that they continue to negotiate in a contract dispute that has taken KAKE off Cox cable.

KAKE disappeared from Cox shortly after midnight after a contract extension between Cox and KAKE-TV parent Gray Communications ran out.

Viewers who turned to Channel 10 early Wednesday were greeted with soft music and a message from Cox saying KAKE had pulled its programming.

KAKE remains available on AT&T’s Uverse and Dish Network and is free over the airwaves.

“We are constantly attempting to reach an agreement, particularly with our customers in mind,” said Dennis Clary, spokesman for Cox.

As a pre-cable broadcaster, Cox has to pay KAKE and other Gray Communication properties for the right to broadcast their signal. They negotiate the rate.

Cox has said that Gray is seeking a 400 percent increase. Bryan Frye, marketing director for KAKE, disputed that Wednesday, saying he was told by company negotiators that 400 percent was “not even close” to what Gray was seeking, but Frye said he didn’t know how much was being requested.

He said the company is seeking a “fair” deal.

“It’s really unfortunate that our viewers had to get involved in this; we never intended for that to happen,” Frye said.

The outages affect Cox viewers in the Wichita metro area, as well as Salina, Dodge City and Garden City.

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