KUTV-2 Cable Re-transmission Negotiations

The owner of KUTV-2 (Utah), Sinclair Broadcast Group, is demanding a massive fee increase per customer, for continued carriage of  KUTV-2 on our cable line-up this year.  (Remember, this is a station they offer absolutely free to millions of people over the air, but they want to make cable customers pay to receive.) A couple of years ago we agreed to pay their new fee, and you saw those costs added as a local network re-transmission fee. This time, they have demanded too much. The station’s proposed agreement would increase the cost to provide the signal to you by more than 400% over the next three-years.  Although we have attempted to negotiate in good faith with SBG, the only response we have received is pay more, or don’t carry the signal.

Unfortunately, we have no leverage in these negotiations under current federal laws and regulations.  We do, however, strongly believe that our cable customers should not be extorted by multibillion dollar companies, who then gloat to their investors about the huge increases in revenue they are receiving as a result of their ability to take money straight from your pockets in the form of higher cable bills.

If we don’t agree to the massive rate increase demanded, SBG insists that we cease offering KUTV-2 as of January 1, 2012.  We have decided you should not pay higher cable rates owing to broadcaster extortion, even if it results in a signal blackout.  We are truly sorry for this inconvenience.  We would like to continue carriage of KUTV-2, but we cannot because of the negotiations breakdown.

Our situation is not unique. Identical situations have arisen with cable operators and station owner groups in other markets across the country. Cable operators are finally taking a stand, working to prevent your cable bills from rising dramatically, giving us hope that we can continue to deliver quality programming and broadband services to you, our valued customers.

We deeply and sincerely apologize for the inconvenience an interruption in carriage will cause. We take great pride in serving our cable communities and hope to solve this issue as soon as possible.

If you would like to help us win our struggle with SBG so we can once again broadcast KUTV-UT, please call the station at 801.839.1154 and tell them you won’t accept a 400% increase in cost to view KUTV-UT.  Also, please visit our website to learn about this issue and find out how to contact your representatives in Congress to ask that they fix this broken marketplace so cable customers across the country don’t have to accept extortion from broadcasters.

Sincerely,

Direct Communications/ICS Management

About Brigham Griffin
Brigham Griffin, Marketing Director for Direct Communications, resides in rural Idaho, and has been with the company since 2005. Brigham has an MBA from the University of Utah, and a BA in Communications from Brigham Young University. He also serves as an adjunct professor of marketing at Idaho State University.

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