Nexstar Media Group’s stations are halting live streaming their newscasts and other locally produced lifestyle programming as of January 12.
In a statement, Nexstar said the move was being taken "to fulfill our obligations to our cable, satellite and telecom partners."
Instead, the local programming will be available on stations' websites two hours after they are broadcast live over-the-air.
Nexstar said that its stations WGN-TV, Chicago, KTLA-TV, Los Angeles, and KRON-TV, San Francisco, will continue to stream local news programming live on their station apps WGN Plus, KTLA Plus and KRON Plus.
The move comes as station groups like Nexstar are trying to grow the retransmission consent fees they collect from distributors as cord-cutting erodes the number of people subscribing to traditional pay-TV services.
Viewers can continue to watch the stations’ newscasts for free over the air, but giving pay-TV subscribers better access to live news might make the stations more valuable to distributors.
Some broadcasters, including NBC, are creating local news channels that are available on streaming platforms. Many stations also distribute their newscasts to streaming platforms including VUit, NewsOn, Stirr, Local Now and Haystack News.
"We also continue to make highlights of our newscasts available through video clips and other coverage after the live broadcast," Nexstar said. "Breaking news and important weather updates will continue to be offered on the stations websites as they occur, and on our mobile apps and social media platforms."
The developments were reported earlier by FTVLive and Cord Cutter News. ■
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.
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