Come Jan. 1, Knology customers might want to reprogram their DVRs if they have any shows set to the Topeka NBC or ABC affiliates.
The local broadband company will no longer retransmit Topeka’s NBC affiliate KSNT or ABC affiliate KTKA.
In negotiations with the two stations, Knology was told its customers would have to pay to see them. Knology already pays for the Kansas City NBC and ABC affiliates.
“We’re not going to have them charging our customers when our customers are already paying for NBC and ABC content,” Knology of Kansas general manager Rod Kutemeier said.
Previously, Knology had not been charged anything to retransmit the stations. Anyone with an antennae and in range can see the stations for free.
Under FCC rules, Kansas City is Knology’s designated market area, so Knology has to carry Kansas City stations first.
“We wouldn’t be allowed to not carry Kansas City and instead carry Topeka,” Kutemeier said.
Knology will still carry Topeka’s CBS- and PBS-affiliated stations, WIBW and KTWU, which aren’t charging customers.
KTKA, which is owned by PBC Broadcasting, has a shared services agreement with KSNT, owned by New Vision Television, and with the low-powered Fox affiliate KTMJ. This summer, KTKA and KSNT combined news stations to form Kansas First News, which will no longer be available to Knology customers.
Along with different news stations, syndicated shows such as “Dr. Phil” and “Jeopardy!” will differ between the Kansas City and Topeka stations. Knology customers will still be able to access Kansas University football and basketball games through Kansas City’s KSMO station, which is part of the Jayhawk Television Network.
Kutemeier advises people to switch DVR recordings to the Kansas City NBC and ABC stations but noted that through the month of January prime-time shows can still be recorded off the Topeka stations.
Knology would still like to reach an agreement with KSNT and KTKA, Kutemeier said.
“We want to continue to have them in our lineup here in Lawrence,” Kutemeier said. “Hopefully that will happen.”
In 2010, the World Company, which publishes the Lawrence Journal-World, sold Sunflower Broadband to Knology, which is headquartered in Georgia. In 2011 Free State Communications, an indirect subsidiary to the World Company, sold KTKA to PBC Broadcasting.