Many KKCO NBC 11 viewers may have noticed a message flashing across the bottom their screens regarding the future of watching KKCO on three cable providers across Western Colorado. Click on this story to find out what it all means.
Many people across the Western Slope enjoy their favorite TV channels and shows through cable -- but getting those channels there takes some work.
Every three years, the station must enter into a new contract with the cable company so their channel is shown to the cable provider's customers. As part of those contracts, the cable provider has to pay the station a fee to carry the channel.
"It is compensation to the television stations, for us to be able to provide the level of service and the level of quality that we do provide," said Dana McDonald, General Manager of KKCO NBC 11.
KKCO's parent company, Gray Television, is currently in negotiations with cable companies Bresnan, Collbran, and Spring Creek for those new contracts.
"An agreement has not been reached and the contracts end at the end of the year," said McDonald.
As required by federal law, TV viewers must be notified 30 days in advance if their programming is going to change. Because an agreement has not been reached and it is less than 30 days before the contracts are up, Gray Television has mandated that KKCO show a message at the bottom of the screen every 20 minutes to let viewers know.
"It's in an effort to let people know that if an agreement isn't reached, we will no longer be viewed there," said McDonald.
Bresnan Communications says it understands how important local programming is to its customers, and that it will continue to work with Gray Television in the coming weeks.
In a statement to 11 News, a spokesperson for Bresnan said "Negotiations are proceeding and we still have plenty of time to make a deal. We are negotiating in good faith and have continued to do so. We hope to reach an agreement soon and continue carrying NBC for all of our customers."
KKCO officials feel the same way.
"We absolutely hope that there will be an agreement before the end of the year and that life will go on as normal," said McDonald.
For more information on the situation, or to voice your opinion either way, you can call:
KKCO NBC 11: (970) 243-1111
Spring Creek: (970) 249-4506
Collbran: (970) 487-0137