Cox, Raycom in talks on WAFB dispute

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WAFB-TV owner Raycom Media Inc. and Cox Communications continued negotiations Wednesday on a deal to return CBS and other programming to the company’s local lineup.

Cox said Raycom is requesting an unreasonable amount of money to carry its programming: about 200 percent more than Cox had been paying for programming “available for free over the air.”

Raycom pulled its programming on Tuesday. That affected WAFB/CBS-Channel 7; WAFB HD/CBS-Channel 1007; WBXH/MyNetwork-Channel 16; and WAFB/Bounce TV-Channel 121 in Baton Rouge.

In a statement on its website, WAFB said consumers pay 100 percent of their cable bills so they deserve 100 percent of their channels from Cox.

“Cox’s claim that Raycom is asking for an unreasonable rate increase is misleading. In fact, the increase Raycom is seeking amounts to less than 2 cents a day per household,” according to WAFB.

In the meantime, WAFB is available on all other local TV providers, according to the station. The channel is also free over the air.

WAFB newscasts are available on Cox Channel 9, which is covered by a separate agreement.

In addition to the Baton Rouge area, Raycom pulled programming in the Franklin/Patterson areas and in the Lake Charles area: KPLC/NBC-Channel 7, KPLC HD/NBC-Channel 1007 and KPLC/Bounce TV-Channel 130.

Raycom has stations in Louisiana, Florida, Ohio, Virginia and Arizona.