A blackout is an increasingly common negotiating tactic that channel owners use to force cable and satellite companies to pay unreasonable rate increases during contract renewals. Paxton Media owns WPSD (NBC) in Paducah, KY/Marion-Harrisburg, IL/Cape Girardeau, MO. Paxton believes that by holding Mediacom customers hostage they can extract a higher price for their product than if they relied on objective criteria to value their stations such as ratings, quality of content, etc.
Much like your local gas station, Mediacom is the retail distributor of products that we purchase at wholesale. Just like the price of oil affects the price of gas at the pump, the price of cable and satellite television service is impacted by wholesale cost of the channels we carry. The fees we pay to retransmit local broadcast stations like ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC are by far our fastest growing wholesale cost component.
Paxton has become the latest station owner to exploit our Nation’s outdated federal broadcast television laws in an effort to boost its bottom line.
After extensive negotiations towards a new agreement, Paxton is still demanding a huge per subscriber price increase over the prior contract. Since these costs will ultimately be absorbed by the hard-working residents of rural Illinois, Kentucky and Missouri, we have repeatedly communicated to Paxton that their outrageous financial demands are unacceptable. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we feel these hefty increases are especially uncalled for and unjustified.
Mediacom is continuing to work hard to achieve a viable and affordable solution; however, the decision to pull the stations from your channel lineup rests entirely with Paxton.