Prior to midnight on October 15, 2013 GCI and KTUU-TV agreed to extend negotiations on carriage of NBC programming and Channel 2 News to rural Alaska through November 8, 2013. This means that GCI's threat to take KTUU-TV off of its rural cable systems has been postponed until November 8th.
The extension gives the parties an opportunity to negotiate to resolve the dispute that would affect some 7,000 Alaskans in rural areas. The November 8th extension date was chosen by GCI because it is the first day GCI can remove KTUU-TV’s NBC and Channel 2 News programming from GCI Cable systems in rural Alaska based on the regulatory requirement that subscribers receive a formal 30-day notice of the programming change.
According to GCI’s statements, the company still plans to drop KTUU-TV in many rural Alaska communities unless a “fair and long-term agreement” is reached. KTUU-TV has offered to provide its signal to GCI for free in rural Alaska through 2014 to allow plenty of time to discuss business terms for 2015 and beyond. GCI has rejected that offer. Instead, GCI has tied viewership of KTUU-TV for rural residents to a long term deal for Anchorage, where the majority of subscribers reside.
Viewers watch KTUU-TV more than any other channel on GCI's system. GCI has taken that content for free and re-sold it to customers. KTUU-TV is simply seeking fair value for the content it creates, said Brad Hillwig, KTUU-TV marketing director. KTUU-TV will continue to do everything possible to achieve a solution to this dispute. “All Alaskans deserve a choice in news and entertainment, particularly those that pay a cable company each month for that content,” Hillwig said. “A source of independent news is important everywhere, especially in rural Alaska where access to news, information and entertainment is far more limited than in urban areas,” Hillwig added.
The affected communities would be: Barrow, Bethel, Cordova, Kodiak, Kotzebue, Nome, North Slope, Valdez, Adak, Akutan, Anaktuvuk Pass, Whittier, Galena, Unalaska, King Salmon, Kaktovik, McGrath, Nikolski, Chugach McKinley, Skagway, and Tanana.
Viewers in these communities can also see KTUU-TV on Dish Network, DirecTV and on the public Alaska Rural Communication System (ARCS). Channel 2 News is also available on Airwave -- a free live streaming and on demand mobile application available on iOS and Andriod.
Brad Hillwig, Marketing Director KTUU-TV 762-9203 firstname.lastname@example.org
KTUU-TV’s early beginnings date back to 1953. Over the ensuing six decades, the station has built a reputation of excellence as Alaska’s most watched news source, producing more than 22-hours of news and sports content each week on television. Online, KTUU.com has become a digital news leader, and Channel 2’s mobile News and Weather applications are on the leading edge of mobile journalism in Alaska. Nielsen Media research shows that Channel 2 News products reach more than 89-percent of the adults who watch local news in a week, and more than 85-percent of those viewers watch Channel 2 News exclusively. That strong reach and brand loyalty are augmented by added distribution to the state’s capital and more than 244 rural communities throughout Alaska.