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GCI customers see interruption in ABC, FOX and CW network content due to contract negotiations

Published: Jan. 4, 2021 at 4:11 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Starting on December 31st, General Communication Inc. (GCI) customers in Fairbanks were unable to access programming on ABC, FOX and CW networks due to contract negotiations between the provider and programmers Coastal Television and Vision Alaska.

Heather Handyside, Chief Communications Officer for GCI, explained that every year, the company negotiates dozens of contracts for content provided on pay-cable channels. “We provide content for over 300 channels, and the reason that we’re able to get the content is because we negotiate with the content providers and the networks and the broadcasters to continue to provide that content to our customers.”

She went on to say, “In this particular case, we were unable to come to an agreement, so far, with Coastal Television and Vision Alaska - and because of that, we are legally not able to continue to provide those shows and that programming over our network.”

According to Handyside, GCI has provided an updated proposal to the two programmers as of December 29th, and has not received a rejection or counterproposal. “We’re hoping to hear back from them very, very soon.”

She added, “We really know that our customers are eager for us to get these shows back on the air. I’m a huge NFL fan, and so I know people were really frustrated when they couldn’t watch the Seahawks game. So we do have some urgency there. There’s some big shows coming up like The Bachelor and Jeopardy. The good news is that there are lots of ways for our customers to get that content right now.”

Handyside mentioned that some content is available online on venues like YouTube and Hulu Live.

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