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Nexstar Retrans Dispute Stays Hot

If a raging retransmission-consent dispute isn’t resolved, Cox Communications Inc. will lose carriage of several additional Nexstar Broadcasting Group Inc. TV stations at the end of this month.

For more than one week now, five of Nexstar’s TV stations have been off the lineups of both Cox and Cable One Inc.

Effective Jan. 1, when old retransmission-consent deals expired, Cable One had to stop carrying NBC affiliate KTAL in Texarkana, Texas; and Joplin, Mo., stations KODE, an ABC affiliate, and KSNF, an NBC station.

Cox, in turn, had to drop two Texas stations: NBC affiliate KRBC and CBS affiliate KLST.

In the latest chapter in the saga, Cox’s systems in the Carthage, Mo., area will lose the same stations Cable One did -- KODE and KSNF -- at the end of January.

Similarly, several of Cox’s small systems in the Shreveport, La.-Texarkana, Texas, DMA will be losing KTAL, as Cable One did.

The Atlanta-based MSO claimed that it is considering going to the Federal Communications Commission for help with its dispute with Nexstar.

“The FCC does require broadcasters to participate in good-faith negotiations,” Cox spokesman Dave Grabert said. “I don’t think [Nexstar has] really lived up to that.”

Cox also claimed that it didn’t get the required formal 45-day notice from Nexstar about the broadcaster’s termination of rollover agreements for the additional stations to be dropped.

Nexstar chief operating officer Duane Lammers said Cox was properly notified that the broadcaster would not extend those deals, but it didn’t want to go to court with the cable operator over whether those additional stations go off the MSO’s lineup Jan. 31 versus Dec. 31.

For more on the Nexstar retransmission dispute, please see Linda Moss’ story on page three of Monday’s issue of Multichannel News.