A last-minute deal has kept three Austin TV stations on the Suddenlink Communications lineup.
Without the newly signed retransmission agreement, the cable provider, which serves the Georgetown, Leander and Pflugerville areas, would have been forced to drop NBC affiliate KXAN, CW affiliate KNVA and MyNetworkTV affiliate KBVO on Tuesday afternoon.
The three stations are operated by Richmond, Va.-based Media General.
Retransmission agreements require cable and satellite providers to get broadcasters’ permission to carry their signals. Typically, as part of the deal, the stations are paid a monthly per-subscriber fee.
Terms of the deal weren’t released, although Suddenlink indicated on its website Tuesday afternoon that it had offered Media General more cash than it was receiving under the terms of the expiring agreement.
“Thanks to our customers for their patience as we worked through this negotiation,” Suddenlink said in a message to subscribers. “Media General now joins dozens of other broadcasters with which we have successfully concluded agreements since last November.”
In addition to KXAN, KNVA and KBVO, Media General stations in several other cities were at risk of being removed from Suddenlink lineups.
“This fair resolution ensures that we can continue to provide top quality news, sports, entertainment and other local programming that is most important to you,” KXAN said on its website. “Thank you for supporting local television.”
Cable and satellite companies have sparred with TV stations in Austin and elsewhere many times in recent years over rising retransmission fees. Some companies have even added broadcast TV surcharges to customers’ bills to help recoup costs associated with carrying local stations.
Suddenlink and KXAN have clashed before, for instance, with the NBC affiliate disappearing from channel lineups for a couple months in early 2008. During much of the unusually long feud, Suddenlink replaced KXAN with Waco TV station KCEN.