Retransmission-Consent Row Brewing in Orlando

The retransmission-consent rhetoric is flying in Orlando, Fla., as Post-Newsweek Stations’ WKMG and cable operator Bright House Networks are clashing over delivering the station’s signal.

According to Bright House’s Web site, WKMG will yank its signal March 17 if an agreement is not worked out.

The WKMG home page features a bright-red button saying, “Keep CBS on the air! Get the Facts!” A message from general manager Henry Maldonado implored viewers not to let Bright House “pull the plug” on CBS. “Bright House is charging you for our free signal,” it read.

The message continued, “It is unfortunate that Bright House has decided to publish untruths in order to alarm its customers and scare them into believing that as a result of these negotiations, Bright House will have to raise its rates.”

WKMG also provided a form letter addressed to Bright House that viewers can print and send.

For its part, Bright House has a phone message assuring subscribers that the cable operator is “holding the line against organizations that attempt to raise fees.”

Bright House then suggested that Orlando viewers check out the Web site

“We have offered WKMG TV Local 6 creative solutions that do not impact customer rates,” that site said. “They keep coming back demanding a fee that will force our customers to pay more for what others get for free. We continue to believe we will find the appropriate agreement that will not impact our customers’ rates.”

Neither party returned a call at press time.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.