ANCHORAGE – KTUU-TV will return to rural Alaska GCI cable systems today after the cable/telecom company and Channel 2 reached a multi-year contract. The agreement, which came hours before the launch of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games from Sochi, Russia, means rural Alaskans will once again receive Channel 2 News and NBC entertainment and sports programming on GCI cable.
Southeast Alaska residents also will be able to again view Channel 2 News on GCI-owned broadcast stations in Juneau and Sitka, although that is expected to take several days.
“We are glad rural Alaskans will see the Olympics on KTUU-TV and that they and southeast residents will be able to follow Channel 2’s in-depth coverage of the Alaska athletes competing in Sochi”, said Andy MacLeod, president and general manager of KTUU-TV. Channel 2 is the only Alaska-based television news organization with local reporters at the games.
“GCI and KTUU-TV worked to find middle ground on the contract language and the market-based agreement provides a level playing field for both companies to grow into the future”, MacLeod added. Earlier the companies had agreed on rates, but were unable to agree on final contract language that affected future partnerships and purchases of television stations in Alaska.
GCI blacked out KTUU-TV on its rural Alaska cable systems on November 8 of last year, leaving about 7,000 residential subscribers without Channel 2 News and NBC programming. On December 6, GCI then removed Channel 2 News from KATH and KSCT in Juneau and Sitka, respectively. GCI purchased both of those stations along with Anchorage CBS affiliate KTVA as the cable/telecom company entered the broadcast business last year. This year, GCI announced it would buy three more CBS affiliates in southeast Alaska to bring its Alaska broadcast holdings to a total of six stations.
The agreement also will return NBC and Channel 2 News to non-GCI owned rural cable systems fed by GCI and to North Slope oil fields.
Andy MacLeod, President & General Manager KTUU-TV 762-9202
Brad Hillwig, Marketing Director KTUU-TV 762-9203 firstname.lastname@example.org
KTUU-TV’s early beginnings date back to 1953. Over the ensuing six decades, the station has built a reputation of excellence as Alaska’s most watched news source, producing more than 22-hours of news and sports content each week on television. Online, KTUU.com has become a digital news leader, and Channel 2’s mobile News and Weather applications are on the leading edge of mobile journalism in Alaska. Nielsen Media research shows that Channel 2 News products reach more than 89-percent of the adults who watch local news in a week, and more than 85-percent of those viewers watch Channel 2 News exclusively. That strong reach and brand loyalty are augmented by added distribution to the state’s capital and more than 244 rural communities throughout Alaska.