Due to an ongoing dispute between Suddenlink and Cox Media Group, Suddenlink customers in the Greenville-Greenwood market no longer have access to four channels that provide local and national news, among other programs.
On Friday night, Suddenlink customers suddenly lost access to various television stations owned by Cox after Suddenlink and Cox failed to reach a deal on the fees paid to Cox. Suddenlink customers in the Greenville-Greenwood market have lost access to the local ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC channels. An NBC affiliate out of Jackson is still available.
It also means that Suddenlink customers do not have access to Delta News, the broadcast news station based in Greenville that airs its local programming across the four channels that have been dropped.
Suddenlink customers in some other markets also have had Cox channels dropped: Memphis; Alexandria, Louisiana; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Spokane, Washington; and Eureka, California.
Suddenlink and Cox blame each other for failure to negotiate a deal.
In a statement released Friday and carried on the websites of Cox’s TV stations, the company said Suddenlink “made an anti-consumer decision to drop Cox Media Group (CMG) TV stations from their channel line-up.”
The statement said, “Rather than reach a fair market deal with CMG, Suddenlink has chosen to adversely impact their customers. Now, during a time when viewers rely on their local stations that share important coverage and evolving information about the pandemic, social and political issues, Suddenlink has unfortunately opted to place their customers in the middle of their negotiations.”
The statement also urged Suddenlink customers to call the company and push for a deal with Cox.
Janet Meahan, vice president of communications for Altice USA, the parent company of Suddenlink, provided the following statement in an email: “Cox Media Group has pulled its channels from Suddenlink TV lineups in certain markets in an effort to extract an exorbitant increase in fees from us and our customers. With so many households across the nation struggling, we call on Cox Media Group to stop holding our customers hostage, return the channels to our lineups, and focus on working with us to negotiate a new deal that is fair to our customers.”
Meahan said Suddenlink has offered to restore Cox channels to its lineup while negotiations continue “with the commitment to make the terms of any new agreement retroactive to the date programming is restored, thus ensuring that CMG is fully compensated for its programming, however CMG has rejected this approach.”
Greenwood Mayor Carolyn McAdams received a similar statement from a different Altice USA spokesperson and shared it on her Facebook page.
McAdams said Wednesday that Suddenlink and Cox are still in negotiations, and “until the negotiations are dealt with, then those channels will be off the air.”
In an unrelated matter, McAdams said she has a conference call with C Spire officials Friday to discuss the possibility of it providing cable service to Greenwood residents.
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