In time for the Olympics, war over between GCI’s KTVA and KTUU

I didn’t follow the back and forth much, (read about the confusing mess here) but I do know that recently KTUU has been putting out statements about GCI not allowing rural and Southeast stations to air the Olympics. Maybe that’s the reason behind the detente. Maybe not. Anyway, here’s the memo sent to KTUU staff by general manager Andy MacLeod:

Today KTUU-TV’s signal will return to rural Alaska GCI systems. Also within several days our newscasts will return to GCI owned television stations and cable systems in southeast.

We and GCI have struck a long-term agreement on carriage that is a good deal for both companies and allows each to grow into the future. Most importantly it returns NBC and the Olympics and our Sochi coverage to rural GCI subscribers, and our news and Sochi coverage to southeast viewers.

I signed the multi year contract this morning. It is a full carriage agreement based on current industry practices and market based.

It is good for us, GCI and the viewers who rely on us.

I want to thank all of you who have answered viewer questions on the blackout, and kept the lines of communication open with the affected communities. Brad’s press release is attached.

When the signal is turned on is up to GCI, but undoubtedly they will work to air the opening ceremonies of the Olympics tonight, while Southeast news distribution is expected by Monday or so.


7 thoughts on “In time for the Olympics, war over between GCI’s KTVA and KTUU

  1. AlaskaCodPiece

    I like a lot of KTVA’s news and agree that competition is good for all. But I just can’t warm up to the news anchors. They are such Cheechakos. I’d like seeing some of the more familiar names/faces on KTVA news – that’s where KTUU has them beat.

  2. Anne

    Too early to tell who will win the ratings battle for sure. KTUU has a loyal following; however with a little time, I suspect KTVA will eat into their numbers for sure. KTVA has a good product from what I’ve seen so far. I have to admit that I do not like KTVA’s website. It loolks like a children’s video game and does nothing to help the reader to focus on what is big or important. Given the parent of KTVA is GCI which is an internet cable phone company you would expect a better website. Then again, maybe it is just a subsidiary and the parent doesn’t engage in their day to day activities or the content of their website or news reports which is arguably admirable. Still, KTUU feels more Alaskan Grown for some reason.

  3. Andy

    I’ve been impressed with KTVA’s news coverage since GCI put them on the air. Furthermore, I agree that the “real” competition theu bring with also make KTUU better too. Sure, KTUU still own the ratings; however, if they think that they can rest on their laurels, it won’t be long until KTVA will be #1.

  4. Josie

    I applaud GCI’s efforts to bring meaningful competition to the Alaska news market. For us Alaskans that have been here a quarter of a century or longer, we can all remember the benefits of competition that GCI brought to the state’s telephone market. It didn’t happen over night but it happened. I think that Alaskans will reap many benefits from GCI’s entry into the television news business. Competition is good for all of us.

  5. Make it Stop

    I forgot to add that perhaps GCI was thinking it would have a quality news broadcast to outfox KTUU. Didn’t happen. One more good reason for then to allow KTUU to go back on TV sets that were missing that signal.

  6. Make it Stop

    KTVA’s “revamped” news doesn’t have much to offer. Nice new look, but fewer real Alaskans are featured, and the old team that was retained is not exciting at all. There’s a reason why KTVA isn’t #1. They should have tossed out the old staff on and off camera and hired better Alaskans like they did with Lori Tipton and Rhonda McBride. At least Grace Jang had the sense to leave.

  7. aristotle

    This was nothing more than a commercial dospute between two businesses. I found it incredibly interesting how KTUU tried to leverage a commercial dispute into the political arena. Best I could tell, there were no elected officials that took the bait. It restores my faith in our elected officials. My congratulations to both sides for finding a win-win for all.

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