Unfortunately, now that the New Year is here, Winslow, Holbrook, and Joseph City Cable One customers will no long be receiving the Phoenix broadcast station KPNX-NBC and Flagstaff broadcast station KNAZ-NBC, as thier networks have denied Cable One the right to carry their networks.
KPNX and KNAZ are demanding that Cable One customers start paying a new subscriber fee before they can caryy the stations agian.
The networks want to charge over $600,000 in fees through the next three years.
"We'd be very disappointed if we can't continue to carry KPNX and KNAZ," said Brad Dorsey, General Manager for Cable One in Navajo county.
"Broadcast networks are given free spectrum by the federal government to provide a service to the community. KPNX/KNAZ are available free, over-the-air, to residents in Phoenix and Flagstaff. We don't believe Cable One customers in smaller Arizona communities should pay for free television."
Even though the broadcast signals are free, Navajo County residents have not always received good reception. Cable One, has spent over $3 million dollars to improve the reception and signal quality of networks.
"We have invested substantial time, money and manpower in enhancing their product by delivering it to customers in out of market communities," Dorsey said.
"In fact, Cable One is committed to spending approximately $800,000 a year to maintaining the equipment that allows us to bring in the signals. KPNX has not invested the money to bring in a quality signal to Navajo County, and now they want to charge Cable One customers hundreds of thousands of dollars."
Despite Cable One investing heavily to deliver Phoenix broadcasters, they have the right to make demands of the cable operator.
Since 1992, television stations have been allowed by Congress to grant or deny permission for cable television systems to carry their signals. This right comes up for renewal every three years, with both KPNX and KNAZ current agreements with Cable One expiring Dec. 31.
"KPNX and KNAZ are forcing us to drop their stations even though Cable One is providing a service to the community by delivering their programming," Dorsey said.
"We have always enhanced their product by providing a better picture. Now they want Cable One customers to pay for something that Phoenix residents can receive free over-the-air. We have worked successfully with other broadcasters including the local affiliates of ABC, CBS, FOX, WB and UPN to keep their stations."