Cox reaches retrans deal with Nexstar, restores Super Bowl in Las Vegas

Cox Communications has agreed to terms on a new broadcast retransmission deal with Nexstar Broadcasting Group, ending a five-day blackout that threatened to pre-empt the Super Bowl in several markets, including Las Vegas.

"Today, Cox Communications announced that it has reached an agreement with Nexstar for retransmission consent of their channels on our lineup. Programming will return to the Cox lineup in all impacted markets. We appreciate our customers' patience and support as we sought to reach an agreement on behalf of our customers," Cox said in a statement.

Nexstar blacked out Cox in nine markets, including Las Vegas, home of CBS affiliate KLAS-TV.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

"Nexstar's top priority is providing exceptional programming and service to local viewers, hometown businesses, and public organizations in the local communities it serves across the United States," Nexstar said in a statement. "Nexstar is delighted that Cox subscribers in its markets will have restored access to leading network content from ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CW and MyNetworkTV as well as local news and other programming produced specifically for local communities."

The blackout comes after Nexstar accused Cox of making "mischaracterizations" of the station owner and threatened it with a cease and desist order on making future comments.

Earlier, Cox publicly asked federal regulators to reject Nexstar's $4.6 billion acquisition of Media General. Previous to Cox's statement, Nexstar had given Cox through the end of Jan. 29 to carve out a renewal to an expiring retrans contract, otherwise it said it would black out nine network affiliates on the MSO. 

Referring to Cox's announcement, a Nexstar statement said: "Cox mistakenly claims in today's release that, 'Cable TV/Satellite customers [will be] forced to pay more with the Nexstar merger.' In fact, the reason that Cox unilaterally raises the rates to its subscribers is related to the gross mis-allocation by Cox of its programming fee payments to programming with marginal viewership relative to the network and local community programming that Nexstar provides."

For more:
- read this Deadline Hollywood story
- read this Multichannel News story

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