Area Mediacom customers could lose access to WALB TV according to a recent report from the Albany based NBC television affiliate, but Mediacom communications director, Phyllis Peters, says the anxiety of customers, who think they may lose access to WALB, may be unnecessary.
Peters said Mediacom has been going through similar negotiations with companies like Raycom, the communications company that owns WALB, through 2013 and at the end of 2012.
According to story posted on WALB’s website, the television station has been unable to reach an agreement with Mediacom in negotiations taking place over the past several months. As a result, the carriage of WALB NBC and WALB ABC could be discontinued for Mediacom customers if the matter is not resolved by June 30.
“This time the content owner is choosing to publicize the state of affairs. Unfortunately, it’s causing anxiety for some of our customers. We have no reason to believe we won’t have a positive outcome,” Peters told the Times-Recorder Wednesday.
The contract between Raycom and Mediacom expires on June 30. Peters says up until that date Mediacom will continue the negotiation, which she says is centered on the significant fee increase for the content distributor, Mediacom.
She explained that distributors like Mediacom, Dish and DirectTV have to have the consent of content owners to distribute their product. The significant increase in fees that Raycom is asking will have to be passed on to Mediacom customers, according to Peters. She said the fees imposed by content owners are among Mediacom’s fastest growing expenses. She said companies like Raycom are asking for increases in revenue to offset costs in other areas of their business.
“And, we’re trying to keep a lid on it,” said Peters, adding that these types of disagreements have increased in frequency nationwide, subsequently resulting in frequent “black outs” of some channels.