Update: Cox and Hearst announced Wednesday night that they have signed a new deal. The stations are back on Cox.
Cox last night lost Hearst-owned local stations due to a carriage dispute between the companies.
The current agreement between the companies expired last night and Hearst charged that the cable operator refused a three-day extension.
“Hearst Television had previously granted Cox a five-day extension in hopes of concluding a renewal of its carriage agreement with Cox by September 5, 2017, and offered an additional three-day extension (which would have allowed us to notify our respective viewers and customers of the potential impasse) in order to continue discussions but Cox refused the additional extension,” said the Hearst statement, which was posted station web sites.
Cox denied the allegation, saying Hearst decided to pull its signals to gain leverage to force it to pay higher carriage fees.
Hearst has dozens of local stations in 39 states, but it’s unclear how many are normally carried by Cox. The cable operator has slightly more than four million video subscribers in 18 states.
— Phillip Swann