Super Bowl Saved: Cox, Nexstar Reach Retrans Pact

Cox Communications and Nexstar Broadcasting Group ironed out their problems with time to spare before the kickoff of Super Bowl 50 this Sunday, reaching a retransmission consent deal that will return 13 TV stations in nine markets to the cable operator.

The Nexstar stations went dark to Cox subscribers at 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 29.  Among the darkened broadcasters were CBS affiliates in Las Vegas (KLAS-TV) and Springfield, Mo.(KOLR), which will carry the Super Bowl broadcast this Sunday.

While terms of the deal were not disclosed, Nexstar said in a statement that programming on all of the affected stations will resume as soon as possible.

Cox had earlier claimed that Nexstar was demanding a retrans fee that was three times its previous rate, a clam Nexstar said was false.  

“Nexstar’s top priority is providing exceptional programming and service to local viewers, hometown businesses, and public organizations in the local communities it serves across the United States,” the broadcaster said in a statement. “Nexstar is delighted that Cox subscribers in its markets will have restored access to leading network content from ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CW and MyNetworkTV as well as local news and other programming produced specifically for local communities.”

In a statement, Cox confirmed that a deal had been reached. “We appreciate our customers' patience and support as we sought to reach an agreement on behalf of our customers,” the cable operator said.