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City cable will drop WHAS, WLKY at midnight Dec. 31 if retransmission talks fail

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017 — Retransmission agreements with two Louisville broadcast stations are set to expire at midnight, Dec. 31, which may mean that Bardstown Cable TV subscribers may find WLKY and WHAS missing from their cable TV lineup Jan. 1.

City Engineer Jeff Mills explains the status of the negotiations of retransmission agreements with four Louisville broadcast stations. Agreements have not yet been reached with WLKY and WHAS. If no agreement can be reached — and no extension is offered by the station — the stations could be dropped from the city’s cable TV lineup. The deadline to reach an agreement or have an extension in place is midnight Sunday, Dec. 31st.

City Electrical Engineer Jeff Mills updated the Bardstown City Council Tuesday night on the state of negotiations with the four broadcast stations whose retransmission agreements are up for negotiation. Those stations include WDRB, WLKY, WHAS and WAVE.

All four stations have asked for fee increases which they explain are due to higher costs they face for programming, he explained. The final cable rate increases city cable subscribers will see effective Feb. 1st won’t be known until negotiations with the Louisville broadcasters are completed — one way or the other.

“We think they’re wanting to charge a little bit too much,” Mills explained. “We’ll continue to try to negotiate the best deal we can with them, but if we can’t come to terms, we don’t carry them anymore. That’s our only option.”

If the broadcast stations wish to give the city an extension, that will allow the cable system to continue carrying them while negotiations continue. Mills said he was optimistic WLKY would agree to an extension, but less optimistic regarding WHAS. The bottom line is if no agreement is reached and no extension is offered, that channel goes dark.

David Dones asked Mills which scenario might prompt the most subscribers to drop city cable — a substantial price increase in cable TV prices, or the loss of one or more of the Louisville broadcast channels.

Mills said there are other options for locals who wish to view the Louisville broadcast stations that include streaming on the internet or over-the-airwaves with a TV antenna.

Heaton said he will continue to negotiate with both stations. He said both stations are moving closer to acceptable terms, and he was optimistic that an agreements can be reached.

MULTI-USE PATH. The council approved awarding a professional services bid to Qk4 engineering consultants for managing the project to extend the multi-use path from the south side of KY 245 at Bloomfield Road west to Chambers Boulevard.

Most of the project is being funded by federal grant money, Mayor Dick Heaton explained.

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