Altice USA reported that media conglomerate and owner of the KXLY Channel 4 ABC affiliate Morgan Murphy Media has blacked out its station from Suddenlink customers in Idaho as it seeks a fee increase of 75 percent more than its current rate, the company said.
Altice USA made a counter-offer and asked Morgan Murphy to keep its stations on the Idaho Suddenlink lineup while negotiations continue. The offer was rejected, however, and programming was pulled.
The owners of local broadcast stations (such as Morgan Murphy Media) charge distributors (such as Altice USA) retransmission fees to carry their stations even though their content is available for free over the air and on the Internet. The cost to carry these stations continues to rise with broadcasters demanding higher fees which, in turn, leads to rising costs for consumers.
Suddenlink customers can watch episodes of many ABC shows online for free at ABC.com.
Altice USA, a subsidiary of Altice Group (Euronext: ATC, ATCB), is the fourth largest cable operator in the United States, delivering residential and business services to 4.6 million customers across 20 states. Providing high-quality products that keep customers connected, Altice USA (through its Optimum, Lightpath and Suddenlink brands) offers digital cable television, high-speed Internet, voice, WiFi and advertising services.