FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 23, 2008, San Bruno, CA - San Bruno Cable's Retransmission Consent Agreement with broadcast stations KOFY, KDTV (Univision) and KFSF (Telefutura) will expire on December 31, 2008. San Bruno Cable is currently negotiating the renewal of these broadcast retransmission consent agreements.
If these negotiations are not successful by December 31st these channels may cease broadcasting on our cable system. San Bruno Cable values its customers and we are making every effort to avoid disruption to programming you want. We regret any inconvenience you may experience. You can be assured that we are working hard to resolve this situation as quickly as possible
Every three years, broadcast stations are required to make an election as to how their over-the-air broadcast signal may be carried by video service providers, such as San Bruno Cable. The broadcast stations are required to make an election between "must-carry status" and "retransmission consent status" and notify all video service providers of their choice. The over-the-air signal of the broadcast stations that elect must-carry status must be carried by video service providers as a requirement. However, the over-the-air broadcast signal of the broadcast station that elects retransmission consent status may not be carried by a video service providers without express permission or retransmission consent from the broadcast station. The present 3-year retransmission consent period began on January 1, 2006 and ends on December 31, 2008. The upcoming 3-year transmission consent period begins January 1, 2009 and runs through December 31, 2011. Broadcast stations KTVU Fox, KNTV NBC, KPIX CBS, KGO ABC, KSTS Telemundo, KDTV Univision, KFSF Telefutura, KTSF, KICU and KOFY have elected retransmission consent status for the upcoming 3-year period. These broadcast stations may not be carried by San Bruno Cable without retransmission consent from the broadcast station.
To date, San Bruno Cable has successfully negotiated and secured retransmission consent agreements for KTVU Fox, KNTV NBC, KPIX CBS, KGO ABC, KFSF Telemundo, KTSF and KICU. KDTV Univision and KFSF Telefutura have agreed to extend the current agreement while San Bruno Cable and the stations continue negotiations. However, the negotiations with KOFY has reached an impasse and the station has ordered San Bruno Cable to cease retransmission of the station's signal effective midnight December 31, 2008. Unless the KOFY advises San Bruno Cable otherwise, the station will go dark at midnight on December 31, 2008.
Unlike the other broadcast stations, KOFY (formerly KBWB before losing its WB affiliation) is adamantly demanding a per subscriber license fee as consideration for retransmission consent. The broadcast station has not demanded such a license fee in the past nor has San Bruno Cable charged such a fee for the broadcast programming. San Bruno Cable remains opposed to agreeing to such an across the board license fee for three key reasons: (1) Approximately 15% of U.S. households get the over-the-air broadcast signal for free so why should cable customers have to pay for it. (2) An across the board license fee burdens and raises the cost for customers who may not want or watch the broadcast service. (3) If a broadcast stations cannot operate successfully without charging a license fee as they have done since the beginning or like it peers that don't charge a license fee, then perhaps it should learn from its peers or exit the broadcast service business. Cable customers shouldn't have to bear the burden of their failure.
San Bruno Cable hopes to reach agreements with KDTV Univision and KFSF Telefutura in January 2009 while maintaining its position on broadcast license fee charges. Check the San Bruno Cable website at www.sanbrunocable.com for the latest information on the negotiations.
Once again, you can be assured that we are working hard to resolve this situation, in the best interest of our customers, as quickly as possible.