A dispute between the CBS affiliate in Las Vegas and Cox Communications could result in a Super Bowl blackout for 350,000 local customers.
KLAS-TV 8 airs the Super Bowl locally. And the station uses the occasion to petition Cox for a massive increase in fees paid to it.
“Nexstar Broadcasting Group is threatening to withhold its signals unless Cox agrees to pay three times the current rate,” the cable company informs customers. “Cox has always been willing to continue providing significant compensation, but we feel three times the current rate is unreasonable.”
Nexstar, naturally, sees the dispute differently:
Despite our very best last minute efforts we were not able to reach an agreement with Cox and as such Cox no longer has the right to carry KLAS TV 8. We sincerely apologize for our failure and regret that you – our loyal viewers – have been impacted.
We know Cox is directing you to their website where they are requesting you take a survey asking you how much you are willing to pay for KLAS TV 8. We don’t require YOU to pay anything – you can always tune into KLAS TV 8 via our free over-the-air broadcast signal. However, we do ask that the cable companies that bring you KLAS TV 8 for their own profit pay us a fair rate for the right. And that is all that we are asking of Cox. Indeed, we have offered them the same rate paid by the cable and satellite companies that bring you KLAS TV 8 and to grant Cox a special lower rate would unfairly advantage them.
What’s happening in Vegas may cause some to leave Vegas for the big game. The Las Vegas Sun suggests instead for Cox customers to set up an antenna, watch the game in Spanish on ESPN Deportes, view it online via CBS’s website, or travel to a local gambling or drinking den.