TV programming talks at an impasse, say negotiators

Some Alaskans can’t get favorite programs during talks

Negotiations that would bring programming on three network channels back to thousands of Alaskans in time for playoff football and Alex Trebek’s final episode of “Jeopardy” haven’t produced results, according to fiery statements from both sides.

GCI suspended programming on ABC, FOX, and CW Network channels on Jan. 1 after a contract expired, the company said in a news release. It is illegal for a cable company to carry programming without a contract.

GCI received a counteroffer to its Dec. 29 offer from Coastal Television and Vision Alaska as part of an ongoing contract negotiation over programming for ABC, FOX and the CW channels in Alaska, but the offer fell “far short of expectations,” according to GCI.

“We were hoping to receive a meaningful counteroffer from Coastal Television and Vision Alaska so that we could make real progress in negotiations,” said GCI Chief Communications Officer Heather Handyside in the news release. “Unfortunately, yesterday’s proposal brings us no closer to resolution. We know our customers are frustrated and we are too — that’s why we started negotiations in July last year in the hopes of avoiding the very situation we find ourselves in right now.”

Coastal Television and Vision Alaska initially proposed an almost 40% rate increase to GCI’s programming contract, according to GCI, and the most recent offer is still near that threshold.

Coastal Television said in a statement that GCI’s requests aren’t feasible.

“GCI is demanding Coastal reduce its current rate by almost 30%,” Coastal Television said in a release. “Coastal would be unable to sustain such a drastic reduction.”

Coastal Television characterized GCI’s statements as misleading and placed the decision to suspend programming at GCI’s feet.

“Unfortunately, rather than making an offer that will allow Coastal the ability to continue operating, GCI has put out false and misleading statements to confuse their subscribers even more. It is past time for GCI to give their subscribers the programming they signed up and paid to receive by re-connecting FOX, ABC, and The CW networks.”

Josh Edge, media relations specialist for GCI, said in an email Juneau customers will be eligible for a credit; however, he was unable to provide an amount that might be credited.

In past releases and a frequently asked questions page, GCI has encouraged customers displeased with the suspension of programming to contact Coastal Television. Coastal, has encouraged people to contact a GCI executive.

• Contact Ben Hohenstatt at (907)308-4895 or Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.

More in News

The Aurora Borealis glows over the Mendenhall Glacier in 2014. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Aurora Forecast

Forecasts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute for the week of Feb. 5

Folks at the Alaska State Capitol openly admit to plenty of fish tales, but to a large degree in ways intended to benefit residents and sometimes even the fish. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The bizarre bills other state legislatures are considering

Alaska’s Legislature isn’t mulling the headline-grabbers some statehouses have in the works.

This photo shows snow-covered hills in the Porcupine River Tundra in the Yukon Territories, Canada. In July 1997, a hunter contacted troopers in Fairbanks, Alaska, and reported finding a human skull along the Porcupine River, around 8 miles (13 kilometers) from the Canadian border. Investigators used genetic genealogy to help identify the remains as those of Gary Frank Sotherden, according to a statement Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023, from Alaska State Troopers. (AP Photo / Rick Bowmer)
Skull found in ‘97 in Interior belongs to New York man

A skull found in a remote part of Alaska’s Interior in 1997… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023

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

Officer William Hicks stands with JPD Chief Ed Mercer and Deputy Chief David Campbell during a swearing in ceremony for Hicks on Thursday at the JPD station in Lemon Creek. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)
New officer joins JPD’s ranks

The Juneau Police Department welcomed a new officer to its ranks Thursday… Continue reading

These photos show Nova, a 3-year-old golden retriever, and the illegally placed body hold trap, commonly referred to as a Conibear trap, that caught her while walking near Outer Point Trail last week. (Courtesy / Jessica Davis)
Dog narrowly survives rare illegally placed trap in Juneau

State wildlife officials outlined what to do if found in similar situation

Gavel (Courtesy photo)
Public defender agency to refuse some cases, citing staffing

ANCHORAGE — A state agency that represents Alaskans who cannot afford their… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police: Gift card scam connected to hoax Fred Meyer threats

This article has been moved in front of the Empire’s paywall. A… Continue reading

This is a concept design drawing that was included in the request for proposal sent out by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities seeking outside engineering and design services to determine whether it’s feasible to build a new ferry terminal facility in Juneau at Cascade Point. (Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities)
DOT takes steps toward potential Cascade Point ferry terminal facility

It would accommodate the Tazlina and or Hubbard, shorten trips to Haines and Skagway

Most Read