WNWO, Buckeye reach agreementWritten by Staff Reports | | email@example.com
EDITOR’S NOTE: Updated with comments from Sinclair Broadcasting.
NBC is back on Buckeye CableSystem for the first time in seven months after two media companies reached an agreement, NBC 24 General Manager John Nazamis confirmed to Toledo Free Press.
Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns the local NBC affiliate WNWO, and Buckeye signed a two-year agreement July 14.
“I am pleased to welcome WNWO back to Buckeye, the area’s number one television service provider,” said Jeff Abbas, Buckeye’s president and general manager, in a July 14 statement.
“We are very happy to have reached an agreement with Buckeye through good faith negotiations between both parties and without government intervention to obtain fair compensation for the WNWO-TV programming,” said Barry Faber, executive vice president and general counsel for Sinclair, in a July 15 statement. “We again apologize to Buckeye subscribers for any inconvenience this situation has caused, however, now that an agreement has been reached, Buckeye’s subscribers can once again enjoy the live, local news and popular syndicated and network programming airing on WNWO-TV. We wish to thank our viewers for their patience and outreach to Buckeye over the past several months.”
Specific terms of the agreement were not released, but both parties agreed to withdraw the complaints they had filed against each other with the FCC.
According to a July 15 news release from Sinclair: “In addition to customary terms and conditions, the agreement provides for Buckeye to pay a signing bonus to WNWO-TV, which is in an amount that more than covers the legal fees incurred as a result of a complaint filed by Buckeye at the Federal Communications Commission alleging that Sinclair had failed to negotiate in good faith. Such complaint will be withdrawn in connection with the new agreement.”
The seven-month dispute stemmed from a disagreement over the price for programming asked by Sinclair for WNWO. Buckeye deemed the price too high so Sinclair ordered Buckeye to stop airing NBC programming in mid-December. Negotiations between Buckeye and Sinclair stalled in February without reaching an agreement.
Buckeye had been providing its customers with a monthly credit of $0.24 to reflect the amount Buckeye previously paid for the NBC station. The credit will stop, but Buckeye does not plan to raise the cost to subscribers at this time, according to its release. In addition, if Sinclair launches a new cable channel, Buckeye will carry it.