NBC threatens blackout of Cable One

Giving consumers one more retrans dispute to end the year, NBCUniversal has threatened to block out its broadcast network and 10 cable channels on Cable One if a renewal deal isn't in place by New Year's Day.

If an agreement isn't in place by Jan. 1, NBCU says around 475,000 Cable One video subscribers spread across regions including the Midwest will lose access to USA, Syfy, Bravo, MSNBC, Telemundo and NBC.

"(Cable One) has been unwilling to productively negotiate with us," an NBCUniversal spokesperson told Mississippi's Sun Herald. "So we're informing our viewers that they're at risk of losing access to our programming."

The rep added, "NBCUniversal has offered Cable ONE a deal at the same rates we provide to the NCTC, rates that were negotiated when a former Cable ONE executive was on the NCTC programming committee and approved the agreement."

Cable One has aggressively sought to slow the growth of programming costs, notably electing over the spring not to renew its carriage arrangement with Viacom.

Cable One responded with a statement on its Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) page, noting, "We are shocked and dismayed that NBC Universal has launched a negative ad campaign regarding our current negotiations. Despite the fact that NBC Universal is currently demanding a rate increase that is more than double our previous contract, we are continuing to negotiate in good faith and are optimistic that we will come to an agreement."

For more:
- read this Sun Herald story

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