Eight Raycom-owned stations in six markets are dark for Cox
cable subscribers, as Raycom and Cox have failed to reach a retransmission
agreement. The markets are Baton Rouge, Tucson, Cleveland, Lake Charles (La.),
and small slices of Richmond and Panama City.
Paul McTear, Raycom president and CEO, says it's Raycom's
first retrans blackout in the 15-year company history.
"We've signed up 180-plus cable, satellite and
telephone company operators in the last 18 months," said McTear,
"including several that are many times larger than Cox."
"Raycom is withholding their programming because Cox won't give them a price increase that's more than 200% higher than what we already pay them for programming that is available for free over the air," said Cox in a statement. "We are actively negotiating to get the channels back at a reasonable price."
McTear said negotiations have been ongoing since October.