UPDATED: Hoak TV Stations

CURRENT INFORMATION

We have reached an agreement in principle with Hoak Media. Please click here for more.

PRIOR INFORMATION

Suddenlink is involved in good-faith negotiations to renew its contract with Hoak Media, which owns several TV stations, including KALB, KAQY, and KNOE. To date, we have completed contracts with other broadcast owners, covering more than 100 local TV stations. As with those others, we are seeking contract terms from Hoak that are fair to our customers, at a price we hope our customers can afford. And if we can’t establish a new contract by Dec. 31, we will ask Hoak for an extension of the current contract, until a new one is in place. An extension would keep these stations available to our customers, which is our number-one goal.

Comments

  1. John Allen T. Bankson says

    I’m pretty sure KAQY can be contacted through the KNOE web site since it is a sister station.

    I’m a little confused, though. I thought there was a “must carry” rule regarding local stations. How can these stations pull themselves from Suddenlink, and since they are commercial stations carrying “free” over-the-air programming, how can they charge cable operators anything?

    • Pete says

      Great questions. A 1992 law gave TV station owners a choice: elect “must carry” OR “retransmission consent.” Under the first option, we have to carry their primary signal. Under the second option, they can negotiate for money or other consideration, despite the fact that they broadcast for free over the air. Most TV stations did not seek direct cash payments until several years ago; since then, virtually all do, and their requests for compensation are growing exponentially, leaving us with the choice of paying them a king’s ransom or losing the right to carry their signals.

      There is a group seeking to update the laws and regulations governing these matters; they’re known as the American TV Alliance or ATVA. We’re members along with a number of other companies and organizations. You might be interested in what they have to say.

      There’s also a related online petition and a bill was recently introduced — in the U.S. House and Senate — seeking to change this situation.

  2. Carol Jackson says

    I understand its all about money…so if Suddenlink doesn’t want to lose customers then they better find a way to settle this matter before Jan 1.

  3. Jim says

    Do not cave in to these demands. These local stations are trying to implement the ESPN business model: dual revenue streams-subscriber and advertising-without offering anything new for the consumer. Damn them.

    • John Allen T. Bankson says

      Here in Ruston we get, in addition to KNOE (CBS) and KAQY (ABC), the Shreveport CBS and ABC affiliates too (KSLA and KTBS, respectively); however, they are SD only. Would it be possible to replace the HD versions of KNOE and KAQY with the HD versions of KSLA and KTBS? If so, I won’t miss those two stations one little bit. As long as we get the CBS and ABC network programming, that’s all I care about. The local news is much better on KSLA anyway, and KAQY has no local programming at all, so no big deal.

  4. Leona Crane says

    If cbs is no longer offered, then my subscription to suddenlink is cancelled. It is the only local station that offers any decent programs. Work it out boys!

    • Charla says

      I completely agree. We in Bastrop, La do not want to get news out of Shreveport. We want our Local channels out of NE – LA / SE – AR where we WORK, LIVE and PLAY!…

  5. Archie Boyette says

    It seems to me that Suddenlink is the only cable co. that serves the Alexandria/Pinville area. If KALB is not on with Suddenlink they must be planning on going out of business. The TV’s in prduction to day no longer use out side antenna’s or rabbit ears, some one should inform Haok Media.

    • ryan trotter says

      hey this is ryan trotter keep kalb on the tv lineup i want my local news and wheel of fortune please don’t take kalb off please keep on with the new contract

  6. Ladonna Dowty says

    We left Direct TV to get our local channels with Suddenlink, please don’t make us have to leave you to continue receiving the local news.

  7. Laurel English says

    If Suddenlink does not carry KALB-NBC, I will be looking for a new source for television service. The only reason I have remained with Suddenlink is because they were the first to offer local stations …

    • barbara amoateng says

      I agree with you suddenlink raise their prices so why can’t they agree with nbc because they are not longer the only ones who can carry this station now. They will lose a lot of customers.

  8. Bob Freund says

    I hope that Suddenlink and Hoak Media can come to an agreement. I am a “bundled” subscriber (phone, cable and internet) with Suddenlink. Most of the shows that we watch are on CBS (on KNOE), and there is no other CBS station available. There is also no other cable provider in my area. If we have to go to another system to watch the shows we enjoy, I will leave Suddenlink.

  9. Lisa Bordelon says

    We watch KALB Channel 5 every day. We love to see our local news, morning and evening. We also like to watch the Nightly News with Brian Williams … Please work this out. Both sides need to be fair …

  10. JD says

    I know this situation is money driven through and through on both parts. The owners of the Alexandria NBC & CBS stations are probably even trying to gather the ABC and FOX channels as well, but they may realize that they would be hit with a Federal Anti-Trust Suit for trying to monopolize the local network broadcasts. For a long while KALB had the ONLY LOCAL NEWS airing, until KLAX restarted theirs. Though even now the KALB newscasters air both on the NBC AND CBS stations …

  11. Murphy Belgard says

    Food for thought. I thought it was all suddenlinks fault. This info sheds a new light on the subject.

    Nearly two decades later, the retransmission consent regulations are still in place, and the payments that they generate are now a massive source of revenue for broadcasters. In 2006, broadcasters pocketed $216 million in retransmission fees. This year, that number skyrocketed to an estimated $1.3 billion. Given this substantial increase, one would assume that local programming would have benefited. The contrary appears to be true.

    In multiple studies, researchers have found that local news and programming has markedly dwindled over the past decades. A study by the FCC this year found that television stations provide on average less than 1.5 hours of local public affairs programming per week. Commercial stations that provide absolutely no local news programming are increasingly prevalent, as are stations that merely replay the local news broadcasts of other stations in their market. Additionally, financial and personnel resources devoted to local news and public affairs have dropped significantly in recent years. No matter how it’s measured, broadcaster commitment to localism through local news and information programming hasn’t kept up with skyrocketing retransmission payments.

    Instead of supporting local programming, retransmission fees now seem to be going straight to the bottom line of the Big Four broadcast networks (ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox). NBC, for instance, is seeking 50% of all retransmission consent revenues obtained by its local affiliates.

  12. gertrudemarks says

    if the cable bill is going up them why you can not pay the local station what they want if people are willing to pay for their calbe bill no matter what the price then do the same with our local station thanks

    • Pete says

      We cannot raise rates to pass along what cable networks and TV stations originally ask; the price would become so high that no one could afford it. That’s why we negotiate.

      • Jennifer says

        It is ridiculously priced now! Come to an agreement or Suddenlink is going to be losing ALOT of business.

  13. Terry says

    . . . KALB claims pennies a day from my bill and you claim Hoak Media wants a 200% increase in what the are currently getting. What’s the real truth?

  14. melisha says

    I think it is horrible that we are going to lose our stations because no one wants to be reasonable about the talks between suddenlink and meredith and hoak stations. I think that at this period and time that you would be more than happy to have any income available. I know that those of us that our actually blessed to have jobs really cannot afford any more rate hikes!!!! What a disappointment! SHAME ON EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Christine Bibbee says

    I have already made my decision. I don’t care who is to blame. If Suddenlink no longer will carry my local stations, then I will remove my cable. I STILL have rabbit ears. In fact I have one for every tv in my house …

  16. Emma says

    … I already pay close to $200 p/mo to Suddenlink for all my services. But I will be forced to drop all but the Internet, if settlement is not reached.

    • Pete says

      That adjustment reflected the rising cost of TV programming, equipment, insurance, network expenses, and other factors. The cost of basic cable networks is increasing more than eight percent a year, a figure that jumps to 10 percent when you include the cost of retransmitting broadcast TV stations. We absorbed a portion of those cost increases and passed along a portion to customers, resulting in an average price adjustment of approximately half the figures cited above. Unfortunately, it could be even more, if Hoak gets the greater than 200% increase it’s seeking. And that’s why we’re negotiating with them.

    • Pete says

      Federal laws and regulations make a response to this question far more complicated than it should be. For now, I can tell you that we will explore all possible options, but our first priority remains reaching an agreement with Hoak/KALB.

  17. Trisha53 says

    … We need KALB if for nothing else but the local weather. Not everyone has the Weather Channel.

    Then again, if we lose KALB Channel 5 in Alexandria, what would come in it’s place? Another NBC Station? Can we get one from Baton Rouge please?

  18. John Allen T. Bankson says

    Thanks for the update! As I said before, here in Ruston we already get the Shreveport CBS and ABC affiliates: KSLA and KTBS. Just add the HD feeds of both of those and I won’t miss KNOE or KAQY. Wait until their ratings drop from not being on the air here & maybe they will be more reasonable.

  19. Alanna says

    Keep KALB. This is the station I go to for most everything. Especialy the news. Get it figured out! Don’t make it harder for the people…

  20. Archie Boyette says

    If an increase in my bill means that we keep KALB, I say drop them.This is a business opportunity for KLAX. Compare their presentation of the news to KALB. There is big difference, it is a lot better. KLAB can go the same way the Town Talk went

    • Pete says

      Under federal law, TV station owners can choose either “must carry” — in which case we have to carry them — or “retransmission consent” — in which case we have to negotiate for the right to carry them. Hoak has made the latter choice and thus we are negotiating with them.

  21. Gig says

    … Both sides have a duty to make as much money for their owners as possible. But both should also remember that there are other options out there now. I can download via iTunes or HuluPlus almost any show that I miss because of this breakdown …

    If you guys keep this up I will sit down and do the math and see if it would be cheaper for me to drop cable and simply download the shows I watch.

  22. Karma Dugger says

    Bottom line is money. If businesses demands too much then they can lose what business they do have. Suddenlink makes money from us who are cable subscribers. On the other hand KALB has two channels in this area and they want to hold the cable subscribers “hostage” to their demands or you won’t be getting there channels on your cable. Both sides be fair and stop the BS. It only makes We the People angry and distrustful to both parties. Get it together or both will lose business.

  23. cristy says

    I am not gonna have cable without alllllll my local channels !! If suddenlink doesn’t resolve this problem I will go through a different provider !!

  24. Patsy Fox says

    I resent the fact that you are making your custormers worry about whether we will be able to get our local stations (CBS & ABC) after Dec. 31, and just in time to miss all the Bowl Games and the National Championship Game between Ala. and LSU …

    • Pete says

      We agree that there is no reason to put customers through this. And we wouldn’t bother you with it, at all, if Hoak inidcated they were willing to keep their current contract in place while we continue negotiating. That way, you keep all their stations, and they still get paid. So please, if you haven’t done so already, consider contacting Hoak or its local stations at the numbers provided and ask them — at the very least — to extend the current contract.

  25. Pam Barrett says

    My mother has asked me to comment for her also. She is very upset that she may lose the local channel that she watches the most., KNOE channel 8. She has been a subscriber for many years with you.

  26. Cathy says

    … no matter which way the negotiating goes, we will have a rate increase because Suddenlink will lose a lot of customers if they do not pay what Hoak wants and if they do pay what Hoak wants, then the cost will be passed on to us.

  27. DVanDine says

    I like having a local station … but I really don’t like having 3 local stations all out of Alex.. keep our rates in check and leave us with ABC out of Alex and…. NBC and CBS elsewhere like it used to be

  28. Angry Customer says

    … I’m frankly surprised that you didn’t just pay Hoak and pass the cost on to us … You do realize that your broadcasting license comes with certain duties to the public right? Maybe we the consumers should be sending emails and making calls to the FCC rather than Hoak.

    • Pete says

      We welcome customers placing calls to the FCC. We wish that agency would get involved but they have so far refused to do so. Also, the broadcasting license you refer to is, as I understand it, issued to companies like Hoak rather than cable operators. We agree that license should come with certain responsibilities, such as keeping these stations available during contract negotiations.

  29. David says

    Granted Suddenlink charges the fire out of us consumers. However, it seems clear in this case that Hoak/KALB are trying to get absolutely all they can. I’d drop them like a hot potato. I am amazed at how many folks really think that KALB news is worth watching. Really? I get more real news locally on Facebook and that is really sad. I fully support Suddenlink! Drop them and get us another NBC affiliate. The one thing that I have not seen any of you mention is the crappy HD that KALB and especially NALB (CBS) gives us. They are using technology to allow them to create two HD stations within a small spectrum and therefore both channels when compared to other affiliates look like crap …

  30. Brenda says

    What per cent of the increase will be absorbed by Suddenlink? Or will we the subscriber pay for their demands? I’m sure someone has done the math. I know the networks are packaged in with basic services…..and of course we have to subscribe to basics before we can get cable. We need our local stations for many reasons, but I dont want to pay a ridiculous increase . We lose either way; if we want cable; we pay the same price without the benefit of local channels. If we keep local channels and cable… we will certainly pay for their demands. Why doesnt Suddenlink offer its customers more channels (without an increase in our bills) in return for losing locals? At least it would show that you care . We can buy an antenna for local channels. I pay for cable,phone and internet and would appreciate Something in return for losing local networks.

  31. Raymond Edwards says

    Hang in there and do not in any circumstance bwo down to what KALB TV is asking for. I would rather not be informed of the lattest news than to see you compoly with KALB’s request. I do watch it but will find other means of news. I once used rabbit yers for two years because I had a problem with a one and only cabelco.

  32. Nevelyn White says

    I’m already appalled at the rates Suddenlink charges. If I lose the local channels, I’ll make a service provider switch to one of their competitors.

    This is a drastic mistake by Suddenlink. They will lose a lot more than my business. All I have spoken to about this are considering a switch also.

    Big mistake, Suddenlink!

  33. Brenda Powell says

    Please settle the case and let us keep our local news on Knoe. I have cable, phone and internet with suddenlink. Thank you

  34. Lynn says

    Offer them $0.00, that’s what I pay them if I get them over the air. Why should I pay more because I use Suddenlink to deliver their signal instead of an antenna. The programming quality they offer has been dropping for years. I can survive without them.

    I don’t know how they think they can survive without being on cable.

  35. Pamela Bordelon says

    If suddenlink drops KALB, I’m dropping all things Suddenlink. I can get channel 5 on my antennae and it doesn’t cost a dime.

  36. J. Lacey says

    … Why have you drawn your customers into your less than professional negotiations, and incidentally, has either of you taken your medications and checked w/ the doctor?

  37. Debra says

    u only have a few channels to njoy out of 300 to 400 channel most of them show the same thng,u go to a regular channel n switch to a paid channel the same movie is on,CHANNEL 5 n 2 is all we have for news n weather so please do watever it takes to keep them, everythng is not about MONEY,SAFETY n WEATHER

  38. Andrea says

    It’s simple keep all our local channels or I go to a different provider. Also I would like our TV Guide channel back too……

  39. Monica says

    Good-bye Suddenlink Internet and cable TV unless you can come up with our local channels. There are other companies out there.

  40. pampie says

    As far as I’m concerned, if I’m paying for cable, I should not be subject to advertising. Someone is getting very very rich.

    If I can no longer get NBC, I will just sign on to playon and watch TV via the internet. Who cares if I have to wait a day. Suddenlink can keep their high priced service.

  41. stephanie jackson says

    Been a suddenlink coustomer for awhile, and if KNOE was taking off there will be no point of keeping cable. KNOE has soaps, games shows,and more to look forward to watching tv8. They need to take some of those reality shows off.

  42. Angela Brooks says

    I would like to know if KNOE isnt offered as a local channel, will be be able to get CBS from other places? For instance, I used to have another service and they wouldnt let me get CBS locally but we could get it from say California (not sure that is where but just saying). That way we will still be able to get our shows that we watch on those channels but not have local news and commercials.

    • Pete says

      We will certainly look into such options, where contracts, regulations, and technology allow us to do so. However, our first priority remains negotiating with Hoak and hopefully reaching an agreement with them.

  43. Peggy says

    You have to keep kalb on. I watch channel 5 everday. I have been watching Day of our lives sence I was a little girls. I am 41 now so dont mess with my soaps…

  44. Marsha Zulick says

    I have called Hoak Media and left a message but bottom line it’s in the hands of business. Please do all that you can to protect your subscribers and ensure that we don’t lose access to NBC programming on our cable. Internet is not the first priority for the majority of your faithful customers. Do what you have to to assure services for your customers!

  45. Brian says

    Here in south Arkansas, El Dorado, for some reason we have <> ABC channels (Little Rock, Shreveport, Columbia), but just one CBS and one NBC (both Monroe). The loss of the Columbia station would not affect us. However, if we lose KNOE, why not simply add the CBS stations out of either Shreveport or Little Rock to our lineup.

  46. sanw says

    …wondering who telling truth, Hoak not looking good, if true our new tv won’t get local with an antanae, but what is going on if new deal is not fair. There are a lot of elderly/retired with low income to be affected, not counting those in health care facilities who will lose their favorite programming, like my mom who just entered a facility. Shame, shame, on parties not willing to play fair. I sure hope suddenlink will be responsible to its paying customers in negotiating a fair deal and let’s get laws to work for the consumer’s advantage.