Cox Communications Subscribers In Nine Markets May Lose Network And Local Community Programming On January 29
13 Stations Potentially Affected as Cox Has Yet to Reach
Distribution Agreement with Nexstar Broadcasting
IRVING, Texas – Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: NXST) (“Nexstar”) announced today that Cox Communications (“Cox”) subscribers in nine markets are at risk of losing network and local community programming at 11:59 p.m. local time on January 29, 2016 as Cox has yet to reach a new distribution agreement allowing the cable television provider the right to continue to air Nexstar’s highly rated programming. For over five months, Nexstar has been negotiating in good faith to establish a mutually agreeable contract with Cox.
Nexstar has established a long-term record of completing hundreds of agreements with cable and satellite providers for the carriage of its programming and is proud it has had no material service interruptions related to distribution agreements since 2005. Nexstar will continue negotiating with Cox to try and reach a fair agreement to allow viewers to continue receiving its programming on an uninterrupted basis.
In the affected markets, Nexstar broadcasts leading network content from ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CW and MyNetworkTV as well as local news and other programming produced specifically for local communities. Viewers affected by the potential black-out have several alternatives to continue to watch their favorite shows including other local cable providers, DISH, DirectTV, over-the-air, and services including Verizon’s FIOS and AT&T U-verse.
Across the U.S., broadcast stations and station groups generate approximately 35% of household viewing, yet local broadcasters in aggregate received on average about 12% of the total distribution revenue from cable, satellite and telecom providers such as Cox. Conversely, Cox (through charges to its subscribers) pays The Walt Disney Company nearly $8.00 per household per month for carriage of ESPN and Turner Broadcasting more than $1.65 per household per month for TNT. With Nexstar’s commitment to local viewers’ information and entertainment needs, local businesses and their marketing effectiveness, local stations need to be fairly compensated for the value of their programming.
Nexstar is committed to consistently elevating the level of service provided to local communities in the markets it serves across the United States by making meaningful capital investments to expand local news, lifestyle, sports, weather and other programming and enhancing station infrastructure, production resources and technologies. Nexstar regrets that Cox Communications is willing to hold its paying subscribers hostage because it won’t agree to fair and reasonable terms for viewers’ favorite network, local news and community-focused programming, as well as other critical information and emergency service updates we provide that is relevant to local community viewers.
Nexstar remains hopeful that a resolution can be reached before the January 29 deadline, but should Cox fail to come to terms with Nexstar, Nexstar intends to actively educate consumers in affected markets on how they can continue to receive their favorite network programming, in-depth local news, other content and programming relevant to their communities, and critical updates in times of emergencies.
About Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc.
Nexstar Broadcasting Group is a leading diversified media company that leverages localism to bring new services and value to consumers and advertisers through its traditional media, digital and mobile media platforms. Nexstar owns, operates, programs or provides sales and other services to 106 television stations and related digital multicast signals reaching 57 markets or approximately 17.3% of all U.S. television households. Nexstar’s portfolio includes affiliates of NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, MyNetworkTV, The CW, Telemundo, Bounce TV, Me-TV, LATV, Estrella, This TV, Weather Nation Utah, Movies! and News/Weather. Nexstar’s community portal websites offer additional hyper-local content and verticals for consumers and advertisers, allowing audiences to choose where, when and how they access content while creating new revenue opportunities.
Pro-forma for the completion of all announced transactions Nexstar will own, operate, program or provide sales and other services to 114 television stations and related digital multicast signals reaching 59 markets or approximately 18% of all U.S. television households.
This news release includes forward-looking statements. We have based these forward-looking statements on our current expectations and projections about future events. Forward-looking statements include information preceded by, followed by, or that includes the words “guidance,” “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “could,” or similar expressions. For these statements, the Company claims the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
The forward-looking statements contained in this news release, concerning, among other things, changes in net revenue, cash flow and operating expenses, involve risks and uncertainties, and are subject to change based on various important factors, including the impact of changes in national and regional economies, our ability to service and refinance our outstanding debt, successful integration of acquired television stations (including achievement of synergies and cost reductions), pricing fluctuations in local and national advertising, future regulatory actions and conditions in the television stations’ operating areas, competition from others in the broadcast television markets served by the Company, volatility in programming costs, the effects of governmental regulation of broadcasting, industry consolidation, technological developments and major world news events. Unless required by law, we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. In light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the forward-looking events discussed in this news release might not occur. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release. For more details on factors that could affect these expectations, please see our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Thomas E. Carter
Chief Financial Officer
Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc.
Joseph Jaffoni, Jennifer Neuman
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