Buckeye CableSystem said Sinclair Broadcast Group pulled the feed from NBC affiliate WNWO-TV in Toledo, Ohio, on Sunday after it refused demands for increased retransmission-consent fees.
The blackout, which went into effect after Buckeye's contract expired, comes less than one month after Sinclair acquired the Toledo station and 17 other stations from Barrington Broadcasting Group.
"Buckeye simply cannot agree to pay Sinclair 10 times more for WNWO than what previous owners required. That is unfair to our customers who are being burdened by ever-increasing programming costs, and it is also unfair to the other stations in Toledo who have much higher viewership than WNWO," said Buckeye President Jeff Abbas.
Sinclair has fought publicly with several other pay TV distributors about retransmission-consent fees, including Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) FiOS TV, DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV) and Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH).
WNWO took a shot at cable networks in a statement released about the Buckeye dispute. "It is unfortunate that Buckeye chooses to send so much of their subscribers' fees to low-rated, cable channels with no connection to the Toledo market," said Chris Topf, general manager of WNWO.
- see statement from American Cable Association
- The Toledo Blade has this story
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