GCI looks beyond KTUU for NBC programming

by Ben Matheson on December 19, 2013

After months of back and forth between GCI and Channel 2, GCI pulled the plug on KTUU programming in rural Alaska in November.

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Since then, they’ve launched their own rebranded HD news programming and are looking beyond channel 2.

“The negotiations with KTUU are effectively over,” said Morris.

David Morris is a spokesman for GCI. He says the company is working to find a different NBC station.

“We are working with NBC, the network NBC, to try to get the rights to put another channel out there so you can watch the Voice and Sunday night football,” said Morris.

Morris says there was a signed agreement with KTUU’s owners, but in the final stages, KTUU put in a clause that doubled the amount they were asking for.

The dispute comes at the time GCI enters the broadcast TV business in a big way with its Channel 11 and stations in Southeast. KTUU says it offered a year of programming for free in rural Alaska while negotiations continued. They say GCI wanted the carriage tied to a statewide plan for 2015 and beyond and that they demanded concessions that would have hurt KTUU’s ability to compete with its newly acquired stations.

Channel 2 news is still available in rural Alaska on the ARCS network.

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