HTC customers have CBS back, but will it cost them more?

WBTW - jbell@thesunnews.com

Horry Telephone Cooperative announced Friday the company reached a deal with the parent company of WBTW, the CBS affiliate for the Myrtle Beach area.

The announcement comes after a June 30 deadline passed for Nexstar Media Group and HTC to reach an agreement on a rate fee for the rights to broadcast WBTW and MyNetworkTV. Both channels are back and no bill increases are planned as of July 6, according to Nicole Hyman, HTC senior marketing coordinator.

HTC officials previously said Nexstar was asking the cable, phone and internet provider to pay double the existing fee rate for the rights to broadcast those two channels, which HTC said it was not willing to meet.

"While we can’t discuss the specifics due to confidentiality clauses, our members can feel confident that after rigorous negotiations, HTC was able to reach a more favorable agreement with Nexstar than originally proposed," said Mike Hagg, HTC chief executive officer, in a news release.

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Cable companies pay the monthly fees, called retransmission fees, to station owners for the right to broadcast certain channels. It's a monthly fee calculated by taking the fee amount and multiplying it by the number of cable customers a company has, HTC Marketing Supervisor Sandy Hendrick said.

“Thank you to our members for their patience and understanding during these most intense negotiations. We especially appreciate all who took the time to voice their support and provide feedback,” Hagg added. "We want the membership to remain informed and feel confident that HTC will not stop battling against unprecedented rate increases."

Michaela Broyles: 843-626-0281, @MichaelaBroyles