The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


December 27, 2012

WNEP and Service Electric cable tussle over 'fair compensation'

SUNBURY— Come New Year’s Day, subscribers to Service Electric Cable Television in the city and to CATV in Danville may not be able to watch LIVE with Kelly and Michael, Ellen, The View or the Capital One college football bowl game between Georgia and Nebraska.

Service Electric, CATV and the Valley’s ABC-TV affiliate, WNEP in Moosic, have not been able to work out a contract extension.

According to WNEP, if the company and Service Electric and CATV don’t reach an agreement by midnight Jan. 1, by law, Service Electric and CATV cannot carry the station on their systems.

The dispute is over “fair compensation,” according to WNEP’s website.

WNEP and the cable companies are urging patrons to call the other and voice their concerns.

If an agreement is not reached, fans will miss their favorite morning and other shows on ABC, WNEP posted on its website.

Service Electric posted on its Facebook page Wednesday afternoon that it had no intentions of removing WNEP from channel lineups in Hazleton, Mahanoy City and Sunbury, and CATV viewers in Danville.

The cable company told subscribers it was working to resolve the issue and bring WNEP to its customers at an affordable cost.

Service Electric claims it has asked for an extension to ensure subscribers will be able to continue watching as management continues to negotiate.

Call WNEP and encourage the station to grant the extension, Service Electric asked its customers to do.

Call Service Electric and tell the company the affiliate must remain on the air, WNEP is telling its viewers.

A majority of the 80 customers who opined on the Service Electric Facebook page want a deal worked out.

“Our station is trying to work out an agreement but the bottom line is our contract expires at end of year,” said Carl Abraham, WNEP news director.

“We are trying to get a new contract. We have agreements with 25 other cable companies and both satellite companies.”

Abraham said he couldn’t get into specifics of the contract but WNEP is the only ABC affiliate for the northeast region and it covers 17 counties.

Abraham was unaware of what would happen if a contract is not reached by the end of the year, but did say by law Service Electric would not be allowed to carry WNEP.

Service Electric did not return a phone call for comment.

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