ServAnnounceGreenEnglish-300x300

Channels have gone dark, negotiations will continue

Alternate viewing options

WISH: You can stream the local newscast at wishtv.com and the station has a weather app (WISH-TV Weather – Indianapolis).

WKRN: You can stream the local newscast at wkrn.com and the station also offers a weather app (WKRN-News 2 Stormtracker) and a news app (WKRN-Nashville’s News 2).

WATE: You can stream the local newscast at wate.com and the station also offers a weather app (Knoxville Weather—WATE) and a news app (WATE 6 On Your Side News).

CW: CWTV.com provides access to CW network shows beginning at 11:00 p.m. the same night the show originally aired on broadcast. A CW app is also available on most streaming devices, making it easy for customers to watch shows only a few hours after their initial airing at no cost.


Update 1/3/19:

Due to the partial government shutdown, the FCC’s informal complaint page is temporarily unavailable.

You can still make a formal public complaint about big broadcaster retransmission rate hikes by visiting: https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings/express and in the”Proceedings” box enter: 10-71.


Update 1/2/19:

TDS is receiving industry report from the American Cable Association. The ACA reports Nexstar has gone dark with ACA members in 16 market areas.

Also, Multichannel News reports that, along with TDS, Nexstar is in a retransmission fee battle with another company over unreasonable rate increases. Read the story.


Update 12/31/18:

Nexstar has refused to extend talks and allow TDS to continue carrying these stations. As a result of this impasse these stations are now temporarily removed from the TDS lineup. Until TDS and Nexstar reach an agreement, TDS is prohibited by law from carrying these stations.

We have given Nexstar our best offer—one that we consider a reasonable increase. Nexstar, however, is continuing to demand rates that are well outside industry norms. These rates, up to a 129% increase, would necessarily and unduly impact customer bills as we would be unable to absorb all of these extra costs.

TDS has never gone down with a major affiliate station, but we believe strongly that by doing so, we are protecting our customers from unreasonable rate hikes.

Although the channels have been pulled from our lineup, we hope this is temporary. We will continue to try to reach an agreement that will allow us to include Nexstar channels on TDS TV.

To share your thoughts about this matter, please provide feedback on the contract negotiations at our Keep Rates Reasonable survey.

You are also welcome to contact the stations owned by Nexstar directly:

Indiana
Let WISH know your opinion on this takedown: https://www.wishtv.com/contact-us

Tennessee
Let WATE know your opinion on this takedown: ccooper@wate.com
Let WKRN know your opinion on this takedown: trogers@wkrn.com

You can also reach out to the Federal Communications Commission to let them know your thoughts about channel negotiations and the resulting channel takedowns. The comment form can be found at: https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us/requests/new?ticket_form_id=33794. This industry-wide issue doesn’t just affect TDS customers. In 2017, there were 145 blackouts, affecting TV viewers in nearly 100 markets!

Thank you for your patience as we continue to negotiate on your behalf.

Original post:

Local cable customers in Indiana and the Tennessee communities of Farragut, Halls Crossroads, Mt. Juliet, and LaVergne could lose ABC programming and other channels if TDS® does not reach an agreement with Nexstar Media Group by Monday, Dec. 31, 2018.

Nexstar is demanding up to a 175% rate increase for the same content available today on your TV. We certainly understand that prices increase over time and modest adjustments need to be made in new contracts. However, a rate hike of this level is far outside what would be considered a normal price increase.

In addition to the large rate hike, Nexstar is asking for additional contract terms that we believe leaves the door open for future unexpected changes that could negatively impact both your lineup and your bill.

Nexstar is also misleading customers with its on-air and website messaging. Nexstar has stated:

TDS is threatening to take away your local stations. TDS may drop your local CBS, FOX, ABC, CW and MyNet stations on December 31.

TDS is not threatening to take down stations. We are negotiating for a fair deal. If we cannot reach a deal, Nexstar could require TDS to take stations down. The truth is if that happens, there is no market in which TDS customers are at risk of losing access to all five networks, or even three networks. Nexstar’s messaging is not honest. We hope this clarification helps our customers.

We take our responsibility to our customers very seriously. While we will continue to pursue a resolution that is equitable for all parties, we’ve also heard that you’re concerned about the rising cost of video entertainment. Our goal is to help you by actively resisting this type of unnecessary and unwarranted content price increase. This is not just a TDS issue but an industry issue that has or could impact all customers at one time or another.

TDS’ contract with Nexstar will expire at 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2018. This will impact the following channels:

INDIANA: 
Indiana communities: Amo, Clayton, Coatesville, Colfax, Linden, Mooresville, New Richmond, Planfield, Stilesville, Tipton, Whitestown, Wingate, and Zionsville: WNDY (My Network and Bounce) and WISH (CW, Justice, and getTV)

TENNESSEE:
Mt. Juliet, and LaVergne: WKRN (ABC, Justice and MeTV)
Farragut and Halls Crossroads: WATE

Please know, we have proposed a competitive rate with Nexstar that they have rejected. We will continue to try to reach an agreement that will allow us to include these stations in our lineup.

If you would like to reach out to the station and request a reasonable rate proposal, please call:

Mt. Juliet/La Vergne customers: WKRN, 615-369-7222
For Farragut/Halls customers: WATE, 865-637-6666
For Indiana customers: WISH, 317-923-8888

We want to hear from you! To share your thoughts about channel negotiations and potential loss of programming, please email: contentmanagement@tdstelecom.com. You can also provide us feedback on the contract negotiations at our Keep Rates Reasonable survey.

 

About Cheryl McCollum

Cheryl McCollum is an Associate Manager of Public Relations at TDS Telecom. She has 25 years of media experience. She’s worked as a newspaper reporter in Northfield, Minn., and Beaver Dam, Wi. She worked in media relations and advocacy for the Wisconsin Medical Society and the Wisconsin Bankers Association. She also worked in communications and advocacy for Habitat for Humanity of Dane County. She has a Journalism and Political Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She’s married, has two adult children and enjoys traveling, especially to U.S. state capitols.

3 Responses to Channels have gone dark, negotiations will continue

  1. KAY WALL December 24, 2018 at 12:16 pm #

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Maybe we have been advised of prior contract issues, but this is the first I have seen like this and been asked to give my opinion. We have approx. 265 channels in our package and have chosen to use only 32 as our favorites in order to reduce the time required to check what we want to watch. SO, losing one that we watch infrequently, is no big lose. We consider the $185 or so that we pay monthly to be far too much for our 32 channels we do watch. We regularly check prices of other systems but do like your service, fiber optics vs satellite. Price increases is certainly a major consideration since we are on SS..

  2. Marsha Pike January 6, 2019 at 5:42 pm #

    Although ABC has been off our line-up for quite some time now due to Nextar’s demands for a outrageous rate hike , I find that personally I’m not really impacted in a negative way . I do miss Davud Muir hosting my National News , but that’s about it . So you go on TDS & fight this battle with MediaStar group . It’s good to know you’re looking out for your customers . Even if we are considered to be a small market area . Your actions are showing me that you do indeed do care . Thank You .

  3. William J Butler January 10, 2019 at 4:55 pm #

    Please dicontinue all Nextstar programing permanently as opposed to raising our rates even less than $1.00. Many of us have TV antennas that bring in the local channels very well.

Leave a Comment