Altice sees Idaho ABC affiliate taken down as broadcaster blackout binge continues

Altice CEO Dexter Goei and founder Patrick Drahi
Altice’s dispute with Morgan Murphy is among at least a half-dozen retrans kerfuffles that have broken out, with licensing deals having expired at the end of 2016. Image: Altice

Morgan Murphy Media has pulled Idaho ABC affiliate KXLY-TV off the program guide of Altice-owned Suddenlink Communications, in the latest in a series of retrans-related blackouts tied to New Year's contract expirations. 

“Morgan Murphy Media, the media conglomerate and owner of KXLY-ABC Channel 4 in Idaho, has blacked out its station from our Suddenlink lineup unless we and our customers agree to an outrageous increase in retransmission fees, over 75% more than its current rate,” said Altice USA in a statement. “Rapidly increasing fees charged by broadcast stations and content companies are the greatest contributor to rising cable bills, and we are working hard to keep those costs as low as possible for our customers.”

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Altice’s dispute with Morgan Murphy is among at least a half-dozen retrans kerfuffles that have broken out, with licensing deals having expired at the end of 2016.

On Jan. 1, Sinclair Broadcast Group pulled its ABC affiliates—KOMO-TV in Seattle, Washington, and KATU-TV in Portland, Oregon—from Frontier after not renewing its retransmission consent agreement. Frontier, meanwhile, pulled cable network the Tennis Channel, which is owned by Sinclair. 

RELATED: Sinclair channels including Tennis Channel dropping from Frontier

Charter Communications and Comcast-owned NBCUniversal are at impasse on a wide-ranging licensing deal that includes the NBC broadcast network. The two sides have agreed to a temporary extension. 

Cable One subscribers, meanwhile, remain blacked out of Northwest Broadcasting network affiliates in Idaho, Mississippi and Cleveland.

Finally, 13 Cox Media stations in 10 markets have been restored on DirecTV after a weekend blackout. The stations went dark on the satellite TV system for a brief period of time on Jan. 1 during stalled retransmission talks. 

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