GEUS: New contract will not impact cable rates

Jan 24, 2012

GREENVILLE - The GEUS Board recently approved a new three year contract with FOX Television Holdings, Inc. for retransmission of KDFW Channel 4 and KDFI Channel 27 after FOX made no concessions during negotiations. 

Submitted to KETR:

An industry consultant determined the contract was comparable to what other cable companies were paying and recommended approval.  The GEUS Board was able to approve the contract without having to increase the cost to Greenville residents at this time.

“Like all cable and satellite TV providers, GEUS’ rates feel the pressure each time a programmer increases the monthly cost\subscriber,” said GEUS General Manager David McCalla.  “As more programming contracts are renewed, it will be necessary to pass along these cost increases through higher rates,” McCalla added.

GEUS cable television rates have not gone up since October of 2009 although additional high definition (HD) channels have been added.

GEUS expects to expend more than $1,777,870 this year in total programming fees.

The Federal Communications Commission has a project underway to review the new trend of programmers charging for retransmission agreements which have traditionally been at no charge to the consumer.     

“Broadcasters have the upper hand under the current rules and cable operators have no options other than to discontinue carriage,” said McCalla. “It is unfortunate that Broadcasters are taking such an aggressive pricing approach since the consumer ultimately bears the brunt of these increases,” McCalla added.

GEUS is currently upgrading the system to an all-digital format that will allow more HD channels to be added.