Skip to main content

Sunflower Retrans Dispute Keeps K.C. Viewers In The Dark

Sunflower Broadband’s retransmission-consent dispute with Hearst-Argyle Television continued Monday in Kansas City, Mo., where the broadcaster pulled the signals for two of its TV stations on New Year’s Eve.

The standoff involves ABC affiliate KMBC-TV and CW affiliate KCWE-TV, who declined to offer Sunflower Broadband a contract extension at the end of the day Dec. 31 when their old deal expired, according to Patrick Knorr, chief operating officer of The World Co., parent of Lawrence, Kan.-based Sunflower Broadband.

The two stations pulled their signals off of the cable system, declining to grant an extension while talks continued, he said Monday.

Some 10% of the Kansas City market, or about 31,000 subscribers, are impacted.

“Just based on negotiations that occurred today, progress looks very dim,” Knorr said.

KMBC and KCWE in the last retransmission-consent contract weren’t paid any cash compensation by Sunflower Broadband, but now they are seeking license fees higher than the cable system is paying to other broadcasters, and seeking more than satellite providers pay, according to Knorr.

Get the full story on