Since You Asked: Spectrum TV, KMVU dispute getting uglier

Are Spectrum TV and Northwest Broadcasting any closer to resolving their differences, or will local viewers continue to be punished for their failure to communicate? Spectrum’s website has nothing to say about it other than, “Go yell at that mean Northwest Broadcasting.” I suspect Northwest is saying the same about Spectrum.

— Paula B., Jacksonville

Although the cable provider’s dispute with Fox 26 KMVU-TV owner Northwest Broadcasting is well into its 10th week, the prolonged blackout blocking local cable subscribers’ access to Fox programming appears to just be hitting its ugly stride.

As of last week, KMVU’s website, among Northwest Broadcasting websites in other metropolitan markets it serves, directs viewers’ ire toward a Federal Communications Commission online complaint form.

The station encourages affected viewers to comment on proceeding 18-91, FCC complaints filed in three cities —Yuma, Arizona; Jackson, Wyoming; and El Centro, California — claiming Spectrum failed to give customers the required 30-day notice of the outage, according to a KMVU web page. The outages affect an estimated 450,000 Spectrum TV subscribers, Northwest Broadcasting says.

A spokesman with Spectrum TV parent company Charter Communications didn’t have any comments on new developments in the negotiations but provided the following statement: “Northwest is demanding to be paid more than we pay any other broadcast station for the same network programming. Northwest has pulled its programming from nearly all other distributors at some point. This is simply how they operate. Our negotiations are about one thing: reaching an agreement that is fair to our customers.”

In short, it doesn’t look like either side’s brinkmanship is winding down.

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