Durango residents fighting to get Denver television received another blow with a Denver television station being dropped by Optimum, previously known as Bresnan Communications.
KCNC, Channel 16, was dropped Aug. 23 because of additional fees CBS Corp. was going to charge the cable company on top of fees for having two CBS-affiliated stations, the company said in a statement.
Optimum also provides KREZ, a CBS station for Four Corners news.
We have carried KCNC in Durango for many years, even though FCC nonduplication rules require us to block out all but a few hours per day of programming on the channel, Optimum said in a statement.
The company claims the channels elimination will not affect sports broadcasting because of KREZ, but one resident is still upset about the change.
This is a big issue for Durango: Denver TV stations being dropped, said David Rice. KCNC has been here since I moved here, and its my favorite Denver channel to watch the news out of.
La Plata County is an orphan county, a region that gets out-of-state television signals. Residents receive news, sports, weather and emergency broadcast alerts from Albuquerque instead of Denver.
When Denver Broncos games clash with Dallas Cowboys games which happens about once a year local over-the-air and cable broadcasts from Albuquerque show Cowboys games and leave the Broncos off the air.
Colorado politicians have been working with the Federal Communications Commission to get La Plata County Denver television.
In 2009, Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., and Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., took the Four Corners Television Access Act to Congress. The act would have changed FCC law so cable and satellite providers could more easily deliver in-state television broadcasts to orphan counties like La Plata, but it was not passed.
The senators tried again in March to add an amendment to the Patent Reform Act that included similar provisions to the Four Corners Television Access Act, but it was ultimately not added to the bill.
The FCC released a report with possible alternatives Tuesday and Bennet is still reviewing the report to see if any of the alternatives can be formed into legislative action.
But if a resolution cant be reached, Adam Bozzi, director of communications for Bennet, said the senator is working on legislation similar to last years Four Corners Television Access Act to introduce to Congress.
Optimum would not comment about what fees CBS was charging. CBS and KREZ could not be reached for comment at time of print.