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AT&T Cable Subscribers Could Lose News 9 Over Contract Dispute

The studios of KWTV News 9 in Oklahoma City.
Samuel Perry
/
The Journal Record
The studios of KWTV News 9 in Oklahoma City.

A contract dispute means KWTV-Channel 9 could go dark for some Oklahoma City television viewers.

U-verse customers in the metro could lose the station and the CBS network if AT&T and Griffin Communications don't reach a deal by 5 p.m. Thursday, Griffin’s Chief Operating Officer Rob Krier told The Journal Record’s Brian Brus:

“We talked all weekend, and we’re hopeful we can get there,” Krier said. “We have reached deals with about 10 other cable companies in the last week-and-a-half. We’re not asking for anything out of the ordinary.” “We are simply asking for AT&T/U-verse to treat us the same as they treat other, larger companies – whether they are based out-of-state or here in Oklahoma,” he said.

The sides have not come to an agreement on how much AT&T should pay to carry News 9’s programming, including CBS specials such as the Super Bowl and the Grammys in February.

Griffin also owns KOTV and KQCW in Tulsa.

In a similar dispute earlier this year, the stations were removed from the Dish Network lineup, Brus reports:

The company also appealed to its viewers online with a warning about missing the American Football Conference Championship game if contract negotiations failed. Ultimately, Dish dropped News 9 and all CBS programming in the Oklahoma City market. The conflict was resolved by the end of the month. Krier said the negotiations reflect a sea change in the media industry. “Overall, you’re seeing affiliates trying to get a fair price for their signals,” he said. “They’ve paid ESPN and others that don’t have near the audience we do. … They’re paying all these big amounts but they don’t want to pay us. We’re trying to bring that back in line.”

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