Cable ONE, NW Broadcasting End Retrans War


After a month of darkness, Cable ONE subscribers in markets where Northwest Broadcasting has broadcast TV stations no longer need to switch over to “rabbit ears” to see one of the Big Four networks.

The resolution, which came Feb. 2, prevented Super Bowl LI, televised on FOX, from being shut out of any Cable ONE markets.

Since Jan. 1 subscribers to Cable ONE services in a handful of small cities in towns in Mississippi and Idaho were faced with the outright removal of local broadcast TV stations owned by Northwest, in one of many battles across the nation concerning retransmission fees.

The battle resulted in Northwest “removing their channels” in Idaho Falls, Pocatello, and Lewiston, Idaho; and Clarksdale, Winona, Yazoo, Grenada and Cleveland, Miss., from Cable ONE’s channel lineup,” the MVPD said.

This resulted in an unprecedented situation in Grenada and Cleveland, Miss. — two small cities where all four broadcast networks were blacked out. That’s because Northwest Broadcasting owns and/or operates WABG (ABC), WABG-HD2 (FOX), WNBD (NBC), and WXVT (CBS), all stations serving the Greenville-Greenwood, Miss., DMA.

Northwest had been silent on the matter, but the American Cable Association (ACA) was not — and sided with Cable ONE.