TODAY'S QUESTION: Should Mediacom have to compensate KOMU for its programming?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011 | 12:17 p.m. CST; updated 12:34 p.m. CST, Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Negotiations are ongoing between KOMU and Mediacom after the station's programming was dropped from the cable provider earlier this week when the two sides were unable to forge a new contract.

"We were still talking early this morning (Tuesday) and offered another proposal but have yet to hear back from Mediacom," said Matt Garrett, KOMU's director of audience development.

KOMU programs are currently out of the Mediacom line-up while negotiations continue about program compensation.

"We did not want to accept a one-year agreement with KOMU," Mediacom spokeswoman Phyllis Peters said. "We offered arbitration twice, and it was rejected both times by KOMU."

One aspect of the dispute centers around KOMU's status as an auxiliary enterprise owned by MU, a public institution. KOMU and MU say that the station is not directly supported by state funds, and KOMU contends that the station should be compensated for its programming. Mediacom contends that KOMU is a tax-supported operation and has a duty to provide its programming to the public.

Should Mediacom have to compensate KOMU for its programming?

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Rachel Brekhus January 5, 2011 | 1:41 p.m.

If MU had to survive on the tax funding they receive (13% of MU's revenue for federal & state taxes together), both entities would have to close their doors.

Mediacom is not a citizen of Missouri, legal fictions of corporate "personhood" notwithstanding, and a mostly-NOT-government-funded entity like MU has zero obligation to subsidize any corporation's cost of doing business.

KOMU more than fulfills any obligation to provide TV by making the content available to viewers via antenna or satellite, not to mention the free KOMU website.

(Report Comment)
Corey Parks January 6, 2011 | 11:47 a.m.

I would have thought it the other way around. Mediacom provides a service to get peoples content to the public. Shouldn't KOMU and other channels be paying Mediacom for airtime?

(Report Comment)
Christopher Foote January 6, 2011 | 1:02 p.m.

lol Corey,

Would you make the same argument if someone was taking mediacom's content and streaming it over the internet, without compensating Mediacom?
Here's your statement, slightly edited: "...person x provides a service to get peoples content to the public over the internet. Shouldn't Mediacom and other cable networks be paying person X for internet streaming their content?

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 6, 2011 | 1:18 p.m.


I think your scenario is a bit flawed..

I think the scenario should be a bit more fair towards MediaCom.

So, if MediaCom was giving me FREE Internet Service (as they are with KOMU), and advertising my company by carrying it on their cable stations; I believe I'd feel like I was getting a pretty good deal....

Now MediaCom makes up for this by selling advertising space, but KOMU benefits by getting wider exposure and therefore a greater audience.

I am not going to pretend to know much about what is going on here; but based on what I have read I think the scenario I gave is fairly accurate. Am I wrong?

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Fanta Con Tequila January 6, 2011 | 5:26 p.m.
This comment has been removed.
John Schultz January 6, 2011 | 6:07 p.m.

Your comment is going to be deleted PDQ since I'm guessing that's not your given name, but KOMU has to pay the rights holders for the various programs they broadcast. I'm guessing that is part of what they expect MediaCom to pay when they rebroadcast KOMU programming.

(Report Comment)
Kaleb Rippstein January 6, 2011 | 6:30 p.m.

Whatever the case, Mediacom should be compensating its subscribers for this. Subscribers pay for this to be part of their cable package. If they don't provide it, they cannot charge for it.

(Report Comment)

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