Cox Communications is the largest cable TV provider in the Las Vegas, Nevada metropolitan area, with its customers making up nearly 50% of the market. What that means is nearly half the households with cable TV in the Vegas area could be without the broadcast of Super Bowl 50, due to a dispute between the company that owns local CBS affiliate KLAS-TV, Nexstar Broadcasting Group, and Cox Communications.
More from the Las Vegas Sun:
After more than five months, talks between Cox and Nexstar are apparently at a standstill. Caught in the middle are the cable provider’s 353,000 Las Vegas customers.
Cox spokesman Juergen Barbusca said Friday that an offer to increase the rate paid by the cable company to carry KLAS programming was “on the table.”
“We’ve offered Nexstar an increase, and they’re essentially looking at us and saying, ‘That’s not what we want,’” Barbusca said.
He said this morning that Nexstar has not “changed their offer” in the past two weeks. KLAS contests Cox’s claims and says it’s continuing negotiations to “seek a fair rate and hope that this interruption is temporary.”
In a statement on its website, KLAS made a plea to viewers: “We sincerely apologize for our failure and regret that you — our loyal viewers — have been impacted.”
KLAS suggests Cox viewers watch the station’s free broadcast non-cable signal. It also provides contact information for other cable and satellite providers in the valley.
A news release from Cox Communications says Nexstar wants three times what Cox is paying now to carry KLAS programming. KLAS General Manager and Vice President Lisa Howfield denied Cox’s claim, calling it “unequivocally untrue.”
As usual, both sides are blaming the other, and it’s all about money. There are plenty of alternatives for Las Vegas customers—they can go buy an antenna and watch the broadcast signal for the local affiliate, or sign up for CenturyLink or DIRECTV, also available in the area. Chances are, though, that both sides are bluffing and the dispute will “miraculously” end before the Super Bowl is missed.