Las Vegas Sun

June 27, 2016

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Super Bowl broadcast at stake in contract talks between Cox, KLAS-TV

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Danny Moloshok / AP

The Vince Lombardi Trophy in front of the No. 50, the number of the Super Bowl in February, at NFL Network studios Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015, in Culver City, Calif. Cox Communications subscribers in Las Vegas won’t be able to watch the game on TV if the cable provider and KLAS don’t reach an agreement on their contract, which expires Jan. 29.

An expiring contract between KLAS-TV and Cox Communications could cost the cable provider’s 353,000 Las Vegas customers a chance to watch this year’s Super Bowl at home if the sides can’t reach an agreement.

The existing deal between Cox and KLAS expires Jan. 29, leaving the Feb. 7 Super Bowl broadcast in limbo for Cox subscribers, said KLAS General Manager and Vice President Lisa Howfield.

“What has me concerned is that we’ve had five months of discussion and we still don’t have anything resolved,” Howfield said today.

The Las Vegas CBS affiliate released a statement on its website today urging the valley’s largest cable provider to “pay a fair price” to carry the KLAS broadcast.

“We will continue negotiating with Cox to try and reach a fair agreement with Cox to allow you, our viewers, to continue receiving KLAS-TV 8 on an uninterrupted basis,” the release said. “However, despite our best efforts we may not come to an agreement and you may lose KLAS-TV 8 on January 29.”

Cox spokesman Juergen Barbusca said the release from KLAS and parent company Nexstar Broadcasting Group was “unnecessary” and criticized the station’s attempt to “scare people.”

“There’s no reason to cause undue alarm and undue concern,” Barbusca said. “Nobody wants to see a station pulled off the air.”

A release from the cable company said Nexstar is seeking three times the current rate Cox pays to carry KLAS.

But both Howfield and Barbusca said they were confident the two sides would reach an agreement in the next week.

“This community doesn’t want to lose the opportunity to watch the Super Bowl and KLAS-TV,” Howfield said.

“We’re sports fans, too,” Barbusca said. “We’ve got thousands of people who are also sports fans, so we don’t want to see that happen.”

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