Western N.D. FoxCustomers of the Midcontinent Communications cable company have to use rabbit ears if they want to see Fox TV shows in western North Dakota.
BISMARCK (AP) — Customers of the Midcontinent Communications cable company have to use rabbit ears if they want to see Fox TV shows in western North Dakota.
The local Fox affiliate is no longer on the Midcontinent lineup after the two companies failed to agree on a transmission contract.
Midcontinent says the affiliate, KNDX and KXND, wanted too much money for the cable company to carry its signal. The owner of KNDX and KXND said his group was seeking a fair fee.
“It’s not a question of whether there’s a fee involved, it’s just the amount of that fee,” said Tom Simmons, a senior vice president for Midcontinent. He said the Fox affiliate, which serves Minot, Williston and Bismarck-Mandan, initially demanded what amounted to a 900 percent increase in the fee.
Gary O’Halloran, the general manager and owner of KNDX and KXND, owned by Prime Cities Broadcasting Inc., said his group lowered its compensation re-quest Monday but no agreement was reached.
“It’s my intention to continue negotiations and come to a resolution, but we are already asking for half of what others get,” O’Halloran said.
The Fox affiliate is broadcasting in analog and still can be received through antenna without a digital converter box. But Midcontinent customers will have to shut off their cable boxes or switch to an input channel on their television sets.
Cable companies negotiate a contract to transmit stations, which often includes discussions about a per-subscriber fee to retransmit a station to its customers. O’Halloran said his station is seeking a fee similar to what the cable company may pay a national channel. He said not all the station’s viewers are affected.
“Our customers find a way to get their Fox channel, so this will strictly affect Midco customers,” O’Halloran said.
Midcontinent, based in Sioux Falls, S.D., serves the Dakotas and part of Minnesota.