Blackouts are becoming more common as cord cutting puts pressure on local affinities and cable networks alike. Recently, Nexstar-owned locals went dark on DIRECTV. Spectrum had Disney-owned channels go dark. Now Comcast has reached a deal to end the blackouts of two Fox stations owned by Imagicomm.
Imagicomm Communications owns 18 local affiliates, including KYMA, KIEM, KVIQ, KPVI, KLAX, WABG, WNBD, WXVT, WICZ, WSYT, KOKI, KMYT, KMVU, KFBI, WHBQ, KAYU, KFFX, and KCYU. Right now, two of these are up for renewal with Comcast the KAYU in Spokane and WHBQ in Memphis both FOX affiliates. Now after a months-long blackout, Imagicomm and Comcast have reached a deal to bring them back to Xfinity customers.
Twelve of these stations recently came from Cox Media Group, which sold them to Imagicomm Communications in 2022.
As cable TV subscriber numbers continue to drop, locals have been asking for more money. Recently cable networks like Spectrum and Comcast have started to push back against these demands, being more willing to let them go dark. This has lead to a growing number of blackouts on cable companies like Comcast’s Xfinity service.
Already more local broadcasters have announced plans to ask for more money from cable TV companies. This could easily lead to more blackouts in the future.