NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Despite Altice USA’s willingness to extend contract negotiations, this morning Morgan Murphy Media, the media conglomerate and owner of the KXLY Channel 4 ABC affiliate, blacked out its station from Suddenlink customers in Idaho as it seeks a significant fee increase of over 75 percent more than its current rate. Altice USA offered a fair market price to carry KXLY-ABC Channel 4 and asked its owners to keep its stations on our Idaho Suddenlink lineup while negotiations continue. The owners of KXLY-ABC Channel 4 refused Altice USA’s request to keep it station on for Suddenlink customers and pulled its programming.
Altice USA issued the following statement:
“Morgan Murphy Media, the media conglomerate and owner of KXLY-ABC Channel 4 in Idaho, has blacked out its station from our Suddenlink lineup unless we and our customers agree to an outrageous increase in retransmission fees, over 75 percent more than its current rate. Rapidly increasing fees charged by broadcast stations and content companies are the greatest contributor to rising cable bills, and we are working hard to keep those costs as low as possible for our customers.
We want to continue to carry KXLY-ABC Channel 4 at a reasonable rate, and call on its owners to stop holding our customers hostage and put their station back on our Suddenlink lineup while we negotiate an agreement that is fair for our customers.”
Retransmission Rate Increases
The owners of local broadcast stations (such as Morgan Murphy Media) charge distributors (such as Altice USA) retransmission fees to carry their stations even though their content is available for free over the air. The cost to carry these stations continues to rise with broadcasters demanding higher fees which, in turn, leads to rising costs for consumers. With broadcasters having content available for free over the internet, and over the air via an antenna, we are working to keep retransmission costs down for our customers.
Suddenlink customers can watch episodes of many ABC shows online for free at ABC.com. For more details, Suddenlink customers can visit www.suddenlink.com/onyourside.
About Altice USA
Altice USA, a subsidiary of Altice Group (Euronext: ATC, ATCB), is the fourth largest cable operator in the United States, delivering residential and business services to 4.6 million customers across 20 states. Providing high-quality products that keep customers connected, Altice USA (through its Optimum, Lightpath and Suddenlink brands) offers digital cable television, high-speed internet, voice, WiFi and advertising services. For more information, visit www.alticeusa.com.