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Cox, Belo Finalize Retrans Deal

Cox Communications and Belo reached a broad retransmission-consent agreement that covers the broadcaster’s analog and HDTV signals -- as well as local cable news channels -- in Phoenix; Hampton/Norfolk, Va.; New Orleans; Tucson, Ariz.; and Twin Falls, Idaho.

The agreement, which covers systems reaching 1.4 million Cox subscribers, will also provide the cable operator with locally produced content for video-on-demand from Belo’s KTVK and KASW-TV in Phoenix; WVEC-TV in Hampton/Norfolk; WWL-TV and WUPL-TV in New Orleans; KMSB-TV and KTTU-TV in Tucson; and KTFT-TV in Twin Falls.

Also included in the agreement are Arizona NewsChannel in Phoenix, Local News on Cable in Hampton/Norfolk and NewsWatch on Channel 15 in New Orleans.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed by either party.

Last Friday night, Cox and Belo reached an agreement for the New Orleans market -- for WWL-TV, WUPL-TV and News Watch on Channel 15 -- just hours before the cable system’s retransmission-consent extension was about to expire. In that announcement, both companies said there would be more news coming about a Cox-Belo retransmission-consent deal for additional markets.

"We are pleased to have finalized this deal with Cox, and we look forward to continuing to provide our award-winning news and information to our viewers in these cities, especially through the addition of our high-definition signals to Cox customers,” Belo president Dunia Shive said in a prepared statement.

Bob Wilson, Cox’s senior vice president of programming, added, “We are likewise pleased with the outcome of the negotiations. Belo stations are important to our mutual customers, and securing long-term carriage rights to the signals of these stations has long been our goal.”