MASON CITY | Mediacom and Media General have reached an agreement that allows KIMT in Mason City to resume regular programming.
KIMT General Manager Steve Martinson said Thursday, "We are pleased to have reached an agreement with Mediacom for our top-rated programming, including local news, weather, sports, entertainment and other unique content.
"We sincerely appreciate all the support we received from our viewers and advertisers. Media General has successfully negotiated agreements with hundreds of pay-TV providers over the past year and we believe that our agreement with Mediacom is one that recognizes the essential value of our content."
Service resumed Friday.
Ed Pardini, Mediacom senior vice president of field operations, said, “We would like to thank our customers for their support, patience and loyalty as we worked to reach a new contract with Media General.”
The blackout of KIMT television for Mediacom subscribers lasted 16 days, with the local station caught in the middle of a dispute over retransmission fees.
Negotiations between Mediacom and Media General, a broadcast ownership group that owns KIMT and more than 80 other TV and radio stations across the country, left viewers without programming during that time.
Under federal law, cable companies must carry local broadcast channels if the local stations make the signals available, but the local broadcasters — or their parent company — can charge a retransmission fee.
If the cable company does not agree with the fee charged, the local broadcaster can refuse to allow the cable company to retransmit its signal. That was the dilemma the two sites had juggled since July 14.