WCHS TV and FOX 11 might go dark in Charleston
The Charleston Gazette reports WCHS TV and FOX 11 have not reached a deal to stay on the local cable company's line-up. This could mean no more “American Idol” or “Desperate Housewives.” No “Lost” or “24.” No Big East football or “Eyewitness News.”
There is a statement on the WCHS TV website that says:
Attention Former Charter Cable Subscribers: The cable systems formerly owned by Charter which were sold to Suddenlink have already or may discontinue carriage of this television station in the very near future. To ensure your continued ability to watch our programming, residents in the Charleston and Huntington markets should contact DirecTV at 1-888-777-2454 or the DISH network at 1-888-265-6902.
In An Open Letter To Our Viewers General Manager Harold Cooper says:
Although Suddenlink would like you to believe this is the fault of WCHS and WVAH, you should know that we have been attempting to negotiate with Suddenlink since we became aware of their proposed acquisition to avoid this.
He goes on to say:
Sinclair (the parent company of WCHS and the programmer of WVAH) has successfully reached agreement for the carriage of its signals of its television stations, with many cable and other multi-channel video providers, including the largest such companies, Comcast, DirecTV and Echostar. We have also reached agreement with AT&T and Verizon, both of which are starting to launch video programming in certain of their markets. In fact, as noted above we already have a group-wide deal with Suddenlink, but they have not even offered to extend the terms of that agreement to the systems they acquired from Charter.
In the case of local programing and news, I think the FCC should get involved.