For information regarding the Absolute Cable TV and Tegna (WQAD-ABC) negotiations, click here for more information.

ABSOLUTE CABLE WQAD-ABC BLACKOUT

Update 1/29/2024

Absolute Cable TV reports no movement on negotiations. Tegna continues to be unwilling to accept alternative proposals. Impacted customers will receive a credit for January on their February statements. We will post any updates on this page.


Update 1/12/2024

Absolute Cable TV reports no movement on negotiations. Tegna continues to be unwilling to accept alternative proposals. We will post any updates on this page.


Original Post 1/1/2024

AN OPEN MESSAGE FOR F&B COMMUNICATIONS CABLE TV CUSTOMERS

Absolute Cable TV (ACTV, f/k/a Skitter TV) has informed F&B Communications that they have removed WQAD-ABC channel 8 and associated subchannels 9, 10 and 14 from the lineup at midnight today (1/1/2024). The station is owned and operated by Tegna, Inc. We communicated last week that Tegna and ACTV were in negotiations to secure an agreement to continue carrying the channels; however, we regret to inform you that both sides were unable to reach a favorable agreement causing the channels to be dropped.

Once every three years, ACTV (and all cable operators) must renegotiate retransmission rights and rates with the broadcast channels (CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox and others) so that we may deliver those channels to your home. ACTV’s goal in all such negotiations is to obtain the lowest possible cost to keep your cable rates fair and competitive. Regrettably, ACTV has seen very substantial price increases demanded by many of the broadcasters in this round of negotiations; hence the very significant ACTV rate increase announced for 2024. In most cases, they have successfully come to terms with the networks and affiliates.

Tegna was simply unwilling to offer acceptable rates. Despite weeks of attempted negotiations, Tegna’s offer was above and beyond the rates ACTV is paying for other network affiliates both in our market and nationwide. Under federal regulations, broadcasters are, effectively, monopolies with respect to the networks they carry. ACTV cannot simply seek out an alternative affiliate. At the same time, there are really no remedies ACTV can employ through governmental or legal action to compel a broadcaster to grant fair and reasonable rates. The only recourse is to drop the offending broadcaster in hopes they will become more reasonable.

ACTV deeply regrets having to exercise this option. They will continue efforts to secure reasonable terms and hope to restore these channels soon. As a part of that effort, ACTV and F&B encourage you to reach out and contact your representatives in Congress as well as the Federal Communications Commission in Washington and express your concern about Tegna’s unwillingness to fairly negotiate.

During this blackout period, ACTV will issue credit for the dropped channels. F&B will pass along this credit on your next billing statement.

There are alternative ways to view WQAD-ABC programming including streaming and over-the-air with an antenna. For assistance in selecting a Live TV Streaming Service provider, visit our F&B StreamNow website. WQAD-ABC is available on YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV and Fubo. DirecTV Stream is not carrying WQAD-ABC as they are also currently in dispute with Tegna. Many streaming providers offer a free trial. Over-the-air, WQAD-ABC and the subchannels are free with an antenna.

F&B StreamNow Website

 

Both ACTV and F&B Communications offer sincere apologies for this situation and the inconvenience it may cause. We truly do value our partnership and thank you for your patronage. We’ll continue to communicate updates from ACTV as we receive them.