Cable provider GCI reaches extension with network affiliates

  • By The Associated Press
  • Thursday, January 4, 2018 2:48pm
  • News

ANCHORAGE — Alaska cable and internet provider GCI reached a contract extension that will keep ABC, CW and Fox on its cable packages at least through January.

GCI and the owners of local network affiliates agreed on the extension amid ongoing negotiations over cost increases, the Alaska Journal of Commerce reported Wednesday.

ABC and CW would’ve been removed from GCI service statewide on Jan. 1 without the extension. Fox would have been removed on Jan. 15.

Fox programming includes the upcoming National Football League playoffs.

“The negotiations aren’t final and we’re not out of the woods yet but we are making good progress,” GCI said in a statement.

GCI Spokeswoman Heather Handyside said the provider offers 450 channels in Anchorage and negotiates new contracts for each of them. Cost increases on contracts are usually between 5 percent and 20 percent, but GCI said the ABC, CW and Fox affiliate owners requested a 300 percent increase.

“We do it successfully all the time,” Handyside said. “But every so often there is a programmer or broadcaster and we can’t meet their rates. It’s out of balance when compared with other stations that we pay. We do get into these very tense negotiations. And sometimes it takes a while.”

Matanuska Telephone Association, which also offers television cable packages, has had the same price issues in renegotiating its contracts. Association President Michael Burke said the company stopped airing Fox on Jan. 1.

In price negotiations, the company was counter-offered larger prices each time it negotiated, Burke said.

“We’re open to putting them back on at a reasonable price, but for now we’ve lost the ability to keep the channel,” Burke said.

In Juneau, the contract extension allows those channels to resume broadcasting, according to information obtained by the Juneau Empire. The Juneau Fox TV affiliate stopped transmitting to GCI in November, leaving capital city residents without access to the channel except by antenna or satellite TV.

More in News

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Aurora forecast for the week of Feb. 26

These forecasts are courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute… Continue reading

Liana Wallace offers a water blessing during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Augustus G. Brown Swimming Pool on Friday following nearly a year of renovations. The pool is scheduled to reopen for public use on Tuesday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Ribbon-cutting for Augustus G. Brown Swimming Pool a blessing for longtime users after 11-month renovation

Infrastructure upgrades, new locker rooms and student tile art in lobby greet visitors at ceremony.

The Alaska State Capitol in Juneau is seen on Friday, Feb. 23. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska Legislature plans March 12 vote on Gov. Dunleavy’s executive orders

Order giving governor full control of Alaska Marine Highway Operations board among six scheduled.

Brenda Josephson, a Haines resident, testifies in favor of a bill setting statewide standards for municipal property assessors during a state Senate Community and Regional Affairs Committee hearing Thursday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Statewide standards for municipal property assessments sought in bill by Juneau lawmaker

Some residents say legislation doesn’t go far enough, want limits on annual valuation increases.

The front page of the Juneau Empire on Feb. 26, 2004. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Empire Archives: Juneau’s history for the week of March 2

Three decades of capital city coverage.

Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, speaks Thursday, April 27, 2023, at a news conference in Juneau. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska House considers constitutional guarantee for Permanent Fund dividend

The Alaska House of Representatives will vote as soon as Friday morning… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Alexei Painter, director of Alaska’s Legislative Finance Division, presents an update of the state’s budget situation for the coming year to the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Analysis: Balanced state budget next year can include a $1,535 PFD and $680 BSA increase

However, a “statutory” $3,688 PFD would result in a deficit of more than $1.2 billion, report says.

Most Read