WATE 6 goes dark to some in Halls, Farragut

Sandra ClarkFarragut, Halls

It’s a classic he said/she said as TDS Telecom, an internet and telephone provider for Halls and Farragut in Knox County, battles Nexstar, parent of WATE-TV, Channel 6, among other stations, over rates.

WATE posted: After long-running negotiations, TDS Telecom has decided to drop WATE 6 On Your Side from their channel offerings.

TDS Telecom posted: Nexstar has refused to extend talks and allow TDS to continue carrying these stations. As a result of this impasse these stations are now temporarily removed from the TDS lineup. Until TDS and Nexstar reach an agreement, TDS is prohibited by law from carrying these stations.

Both sides claim to have negotiated in good faith but were unable to resolve differences by the midnight Dec. 31 deadline.

That meant TDS subscribers could not watch the 2019 Rose Parade and Citrus Bowl on New Year’s Day. The upcoming Cowboys-Seahawks NFL playoff game will also not be available.

WATE was blunt: If you are being treated unfairly by TDS Telecom, switch TV service providers.

TDS was, too: We have given Nexstar our best offer – one that we consider a reasonable increase. Nexstar, however, is continuing to demand rates that are well outside industry norms. These rates, up to a 129 percent increase, would necessarily and unduly impact customer bills as we would be unable to absorb all of these extra costs. TDS has never gone down with a major affiliate station, but we believe strongly that by doing so, we are protecting our customers from unreasonable rate hikes.

Here’s betting this impasse is resolved quicker than the government shutdown.

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