GCI states it will remove KTUU-TV from rural Alaska systems

POSTED: 06:48 AM AKST Dec 24, 2013    UPDATED: 10:37 AM AKDT Oct 10, 2013 

Today KTUU-TV learned from a Kodiak reporter that GCI was claiming KTUU may remove its NBC and Channel 2 News line ups from seven rural residential cable systems and distribution within North Slope oilfields.

GCI's website stated KTUU-TV wanted to "substantially change the nature" of its carriage agreement that expires Oct. 16, 2013, with GCI and ..."as a result of that dispute, KTUU may remove their signal from your community."

That statement is false, and KTUU-TV calls on GCI to correct the record.

KTUU-TV has must carry status on GCI Cable in the Anchorage DMA through 2014 which means GCI carries our signal at no cost. KTUU-TV has offered the same no cost offer to GCI to serve all of rural Alaska through Dec. 31, 2014. We have not threatened to remove the carriage, indeed we have extended it free of charge.

GCI is correct that KTUU-TV and the cable company have not reached a long term agreement for 2015 and beyond, but that does not affect 2014 being free to GCI. 

KTUU-TV believes all Alaskans deserve a choice in entertainment and news. News and information is a vital resource for people throughout Alaska and it is KTUU-TV's mission today to be Alaska's finest independent news source, as it has been for 60 years. 

The only threat to the 7,000 residential rural Alaskans receiving NBC programming and Channel 2 News on GCI Cable has come from GCI which has the sole discretion to decide whether KTUU-TV is carried on its rural cable systems outside of the Anchorage DMA. KTUU-TV has been on rural GCI systems for over a decade. 

KTUU-TV has and will continue to work in good faith to secure a fair market agreement with GCI for 2015 and 2016. We hope GCI will do the same.

The affected residential cable systems would be Barrow, Bethel, Kotzebue, Cordova, Nome, Kodiak and Valdez.

Viewers in those communities can see KTUU-TV on GCI, Dish and DirecTV and on the public Alaska Rural Communication System (ARCS). Channel 2 News also is available on Airwave -- a free live streaming mobile application and DVR available on iOS and Andriod.