Television stations KESQ, KDFX, and KUNA are negotiating a new satellite carriage agreement with the DIRECTV satellite service. Unfortunately, the negotiations are currently at an impasse and our contract expires at 12:00 Noon next Monday August 23, 2010. If you are a DIRECTV subscriber and a new agreement is not reached, you will not be able to receive KESQ, KDFX, and KUNA programs from DIRECTV as on 12:00 PM on August 23, 2010.
Our stations will, of course, continue to be available to you free over-the-air and paid cable and DISH satellite subscribers will still receive the stations. We will keep you fully informed of the progress of the negotiations.
Q. Does this mean I won’t be able to watch my favorite shows on ABC, Fox, or Telemundo? A. Yes, but only on DIRECTV, and only if we don’t reach agreement on a new carriage agreement. You will still be able to watch your favorite shows on Time Warner Cable or the DISH network.
Q. I don’t understand why a carriage agreement is so important.
A. Satellite and cable companies pay license fees to the people who create television programming. After all, they charge you, the consumer for this programming. Satellite and cable companies make billions of dollars in profits by delivering programming created by others to consumers like you. It’s only fair that they compensate the people who create or supply the programming to them.
Q. Who decides how much that programming is worth?
A. In a free market economy, price is determined by what a buyer is willing to pay, and what a seller is willing to accept. It’s no different from negotiating the price of a house or a car.
Q. Aren’t you broadcasters being greedy?
A. Not really. Cable and satellite companies pay as much as $4 per month to get the right to carry ESPN, and they have always paid significant fees to cable programming suppliers, many of which they own. For instance, Time-Warner, through a subsidiary, owns CNN, TBS, TNT and a host of other cable channels. Broadcast programming is some of the most popular on satellite and cable. For instance, our local news, weather and sports, NFL football, including the Super Bowl, Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, and other shows are among the broadcast programs most people want to watch. We are asking only to be compensated for the value we bring to the satellite company. In fact, we are offering to let them carry some of our channels for free.