Facts to Consider
Sparklight pays local broadcasters a fee to carry their stations. When contracts come to an end, we negotiate new agreements, and the vast majority of the time you never hear about them. But sometimes broadcast stations demand triple-digit increases - some as much as 300% - for programming that they make available for free over-the-air and on the Internet. We do not feel that this is fair to our cable customers, and we believe it's our responsibility to take a stand and protect you from these excessive price increases.
Sparklight is willing to pay broadcasters a fair price increase for programming.
However, asking for triple-digit hikes is simply greedy. The fees we pay to broadcast stations directly impact the cable bill you pay each month.
Broadcasters and cable networks are not the same.
Broadcast networks are given free spectrum by the federal government, worth billions of dollars, to provide a service to the community. Some consumers receive broadcast services for free with an antenna. In addition, broadcasters provide most of their programming free over the Internet. We don't believe cable customers should pay enormous fees for what others receive for free.
Sparklight, other cable operators and satellite operators are having similar battles with broadcasters.
Retransmission disputes have become a national issue, not just isolated to Sparklight. Many distributors, including Direct TV and Dish Network, have had public disputes with local broadcasters. Disputes have left consumers without their favorite programming or an increase in their bills. The current Retransmission Consent model clearly does not work. Distributors have to either pass on huge increases to their customers or risk TV blackouts.