Corpus Christi impasse leads to another bad faith retrans complaint


Cordillera Communications was forced to pull its Corpus Christi television stations off of the local Time Warner Cable system when retransmission talks broke down in December. It has now filed a complaint with the FCC charging TWC with failing to negotiate in good faith.

Cordillera, which is the television subsidiary of Evening Post Publishing Company, brings a variety of programming into Corpus Christi. Its flagship is NBC KRIS, which also carries CW on a multicast side channel. It has Hispanic programming from Telemundo on one LPTV, and indy fare on another. And it brings CBS into the market on KZTV-TV via an SSA with Sagamore Hill.

The group has lost its patience with TWC and has filed a complaint with the FCC. According to local reports, TWC is not commenting on the matter.

However, KRIS President/GM Tim Noble issued a statement, saying “It is disappointing and insulting to have waited 19 days for a proposal that Time Warner knew would be unacceptable to us on several key points. Their latest offer, rather than bringing us together, has driven us farther apart. I appreciate the ongoing frustration of our viewers.”

Noble believes that chances are slim that an agreement will be in hand in time for TWC subscribers to catch the Super Bowl over that system. He is urging loyal KRIS viewers to search for an alternate MVPD service or pull the station free of charge off air.

RBR-TVBR observation: MVPDs always like to accuse broadcasters of depriving local viewers of highly desirable programming, hoping that everybody will ignore the fact that they precipitated the deprivation. As people start finding out about how much they pay for cable networks they don’t even watch, heavily-viewed local broadcast stations look more and more like a bargain.

And as we’ve pointed out many times, the FCC’s interest should be in doing everything within its power to protect broadcasters. They are almost always the only portion of an MVPD lineup that is going to the trouble and expense of providing local news and information – and in particular, vital emergency information.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is very much in the public interest, and protecting the public interest in communications is what the FCC is supposed to be all about. We rest our case.