November 10, 2017
Anchorage, Alaska – Each year, GCI negotiates numerous contracts with programmers so that we can provide our customers with access to the television shows, movies, and sports they love. GCI pays a fee for every channel we carry and every year, those fees increase. GCI tries to negotiate a reasonable rate that helps keep costs low for customers but sometimes programmers propose costs that are unrealistically high. In those cases, when GCI cannot negotiate a more reasonable rate, we often choose not to renew our contract to carry that programming. However, this negotiation process in not the reason southeast Alaska residents experienced a sudden FOX station blackout.
On November 8, with no prior notice to GCI and in spite of a long-standing agreement, the station unexpectedly pulled the Southeast Alaska FOX signal leaving customers in Juneau, Angoon, Ketchikan, Petersburg, Sitka and Wrangell without programming.
GCI has carried FOX to our Southeast Alaska customers for years, most recently under a 2011 agreement that is good through 2018. The owners of the SE FOX station and their new Lower 48 representative turned off that signal on November 8, claiming for the first time that the contract does not allow GCI to show FOX programming in Southeast Alaska. This claim is false and totally contrary to how the parties have been operating under the 2011 contract for the last six years.
Their real goal is clear: they are using FOX programming to pressure GCI into a 300 percent increase across multiple stations statewide, including ABC and CW that expire later this year. In Alaska that’s not called negotiating, that’s called robbery.
GCI is working earnestly to convince FOX to honor their contract and restore service to customers. Customers who wish to weigh in on this issue can contact KJUD at 877-304-1313 or firstname.lastname@example.org to request restoration of local FOX stations on GCI cable.
GCI has contacted our customers in Juneau, Angoon, Ketchikan, Petersburg, Sitka, and Wrangell about FOX’s action and will continue to provide updates. Information about channel changes can be found at https://www.gci.com/tv/upcoming-channel-changes.
GCI delivers communication and technology services in the consumer and business markets. Headquartered in Alaska with additional locations in the U.S., GCI has delivered services for more than 35 years to some of the most remote communities and in some of the most challenging conditions in North America. Learn more about GCI at http://www.gci.com