Horry Telephone Loses Nexstar's WBTW in Myrtle Beach, S.C., in Retrans Spat

Ahead of the July 4 holiday, Horry Telephone Cooperative customers in the Myrtle Beach, S.C., area lost access to Nexstar-owned CBS affiliate station WBTW on the pay-TV provider's lineup as HTC and Nexstar couldn't agree on a new retransmission-consent agreement.

HTC, supported by the American Cable Association, said Nexstar sought a "ridiculous 163% monthly rate hike," as ACA president Matthew Polka said in a statement. HTC said on its web site that customers in Georgetown County could watch CBS programming on other local channels or via an over the air antenna. Live news and weather are available by the station's web site www.wbtw.com, HTC said.

HTC said negotiations would continue with Nexstar over WBTW and the local MyNetworkTV station. Ahead of the drop, a Nexstar representative told The Sun News local newspaper that the company would not comment on private negotiations.