No agreement yet

Published 6:45 pm Monday, December 29, 2008


Residents, who subscribe to Charter Communications, may soon lose both the local FOX affiliate as well as the local CBS.

If Charter Communications does not reach a financial agreement with the stations by Dec. 31, Charter customers may need to look to another avenue to see popular shows such as “American Idol,” NASCAR, “24,” and even the Sugar Bowl, in which the University of Alabama will be playing Jan. 2.

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CBS runs popular shows such as “CSI” and “Survivor.”

“We’ve spent several weeks negotiating in good faith with Charter but have been unable to reach an agreement. We have reached agreements with most of the cable operators in the area, including Knology, Troy Cable, Brighthouse, Comlink, Sky Cable, Galaxy Cable and others,” said David Woods, president of WCOV FOX20.

“We feel the corporation’s demands are unfair and unreasonable and would place a burden on our customers, since additional programming fees make up a significant portion of the cost for cable service. Rest assured, we are focused on obtaining a fair and reasonable agreement, so that our customers will not have to bear extraordinary costs associated with carrying WCOV,” said John Miller, communications director for Charter Communications.

“We find it unsettling that Charter Cable recently announced a rate increase in Montgomery of several dollars per month, yet they have been unable to reach an agreement with WCOV-FOX20,” Woods said.

But despite the fact that Charter has reached no agreement with either station, all sides remain hopeful the issue will be resolved.

According to Miller, it’s rare that negotiations actually interrupt a station’s carriage.

For Troy residents, Troy Cable has reached an agreement with the stations.

Troy Cable’s Executive Director of Marketing Steve Camp said that as far as he knows Troy Cable has signed the agreement with WCOV.

Camp said he does not anticipate that Charter and WCOV will fail to reach an agreement.

But, if they do, he encourages people who want to change not to wait until the last minute.