As of right now, St. Louis area Charter subscribers will not be able to watch CBS (Ch. 4) starting on December 31st.
I don't know who KMOV thinks they are....but they're acting like a bunch of greedy asshats. First, they get their HD signal removed from Charter...now the entire KMOV signal is being dropped unless an agreement is reached.
KMOV needs to realize that people don't subscribe to Charter to watch local programming. They subscribe to cable or satellite to watch cable stations. I can get KMOV and other local stations for free with an antenna. I can't get ESPN unless I use Charter or a Dish.
St. Louis television station and Charter at impasse
Nicholas J.C. Pistor
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
KMOV (Channel 4) says its television signal will not be available to Charter Cable subscribers starting Dec. 31.
KMOV's parent, Belo Corp. of Dallas, and Charter, based in Town and Country, have been negotiating for two years over KMOV's demand that Charter pay for KMOV's signal.
Belo ceased allowing Charter to carry KMOV's new digital HD signal in January 2007, but Charter subscribers still got KMOV's old analog signal. Now Charter will carry no version of KMOV.
"Our signal has value," Allan Cohen, KMOV president and general manager, said Saturday. "We are one of the most popular channels on Charter and we should receive some compensation."
Belo says it has reached similar agreements for other stations with cable companies nationwide.
Only Charter subscribers would be affected. KMOV's signal would still be available on Direct TV, Dish Network and AT&T U-Verse â€” and over the air for TVs with antennas.
Cohen declined to discuss how much the station was seeking. In a news broadcast Friday night, the station said it was asking for about one cent a Charter subscriber per day. Charter has about 440,000 subscribers here. Based on that, KMOV would be asking for about $1.6 million a year.
Charter said on Saturday that it's still negotiating with KMOV and hopes to reach an agreement.
"KMOV-TV is demanding high monthly fees from Charter cable customers for the same programming they provide free over the air and which CBS provides for free on the Internet," said Steve Trippe, Charter's general manager.
KMOV, the CBS affiliate here, said its announcement, which encouraged viewers to contact Charter, isn't a negotiating ploy. In the last ratings period, KMOV won the late-news race by 2.1 ratings points, besting KSDK (Channel 5).
And here is what KMOV.coms home page says:
Programming Note: For more than two years KMOV has been trying to reach an agreement with Charter Cable to have KMOV's signal available to Charter cable customers. We have made offers, Charter has not responded. We want Channel 4 on Charter, but effective December 31st, Charter will no longer carry KMOV.
More from KMOV.com:
A message from KMOV-TV on Charter cable's decision
(KMOV) -- For more than two years KMOV has been trying to reach an agreement with Charter Cable to have KMOVâ€™s signal available to Charter cable customers. We have made offers, Charter has not responded. We want Channel 4 on Charter, but effective December 31st, Charter will no longer carry KMOV.
For the majority of viewers in the St. Louis area KMOV and CBS programming will still be available. We have been able to reach agreements with every other distribution company in town so viewers can still watch KMOV on Direct TV, Dish Network, AT&T U-Verse and of course over the air. Charterâ€™s decision only affects Charter customers.
Channel 4 is far and away one of THE most popular channels on Charter Cable and has invested millions of dollars in its local news, and high-quality local and syndicated programming as well as in its conversion to high definition.
Charter boasts in its ads that local channels like KMOV are the main reason why you should spend your money on cable TV. What they donâ€™t tell you is they have been taking local programming for free and then charging you. Charter pays practically all cable networks for their signals, networks that are far less popular. But they donâ€™t want to pay for local channels. Thatâ€™s not right, itâ€™s not fair and Charter knows it. They pay to carry local signals in other cities, but this time â€“ for some reason â€“ Charterâ€™s position will hurt St. Louis cable customers.
Interestingly, our company owns television stations all over the country and has been able to work out agreements like this in every single market with every cable distribution company and satellite provider except one, Charter Communications. They are the only company that refuses to recognize the value of a popular LOCAL station such as KMOV to its customers.
We are not giving up, and we will keep trying to negotiate with them to keep Channel 4 on Charter. You are not happy about this. We are not happy about this. It doesnâ€™t have to be this way and Charter knows it.
Let Charter know how you feel. Give them a call, or send them an e-mail and tell Charter you want to keep Channel 4 on their cable system. Or you might consider switching to DISH Network, DIRECT TV or AT&T U-Verse.
Interestingly enough, they didn't give any contact info to KMOV to voice your displeasure with them...so here you go:President Allan Cohen: firstname.lastname@example.org
Feel free to bitch him out if you want.