Cable One customers will lose one of their ABC affiliates, as WFAA will be taken out of the company’s lineup this month.
Ardmore Cable One General Manager David Wall said there were a couple of reasons for taking WFAA off the air.
“We kind of knew we were living on borrowed time for a couple of different reasons,” he said. “The issue has a lot to do with retransmission consent. It has become more difficult each time we have to take part in negotiations. It is out of market and when we have discussions with our in market broadcasters, they don’t like it. They prefer to have market protection.
“The other part of it is we are not really losing any programming. ABC is on our local market today. People will not miss any ABC programming and all broadcasters, NBC, ABC, CBS and FOX are secured with retransmission agreements.”
Wall said the decision was part of the negotiation process with Gray Television, which carries, KTEN (NBC), KTENDT2 (CW) and KTENDT3 (ABC). The two sides recently came to an agreement for retransmission rights.
Cable One will fill the hole by moving the TV Guide Channel to Channel 8 from Channel 97.
“The difference for TV Guide is it has programming content,” Wall said. “It will be easier for folks to find and they may see some programming for the first time.”
Wall also said with rising demands from providers, Cable One would have to make tough decisions in the future as evidenced with WFAA.
“When WFAA said we had to pay market prices, it didn’t make any sense and it was astronomically high,” he said. “It was more of a decision factor of in market versus out of market and making it easier to work with our local affiliate.
“We will always be in the video business. It is more expensive and commitments are harder to come by and it will be reflected in the price. We will negotiate the best we can but at some particular point, we will have to pass the expenses down to the customer.”