Since 1992, the federal government has given television broadcasters (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, etc.) the right to grant or deny cable operators (like Great Plains Communications) use of their signal, in addition to exclusivity in their markets. This means that the local stations have an enormous amount of leverage in negotiations with cable operators, especially those who serve smaller markets like we do. This unfair advantage is one of the reasons why even in an economic downturn these companies are asking for huge rate increases. If cable companies decide that the rates are too high, then the local station simply shuts down the signal and denies customers access to the channel.
We understand that a lot of the best programming is still on broadcast channels and are working hard to negotiate a reasonable rate. Consumers can help create a more equitable negotiation system by contacting their congressional representatives and members of the FCC.
If you would like to contact Nebraska representatives, we have some resources available for you: