Las Vegas Sports Books Might Profit Off CBS Dispute with Cox, No Superbowl Likely for Sin City Cable Users

Cox customers in Las Vegas and nine other markets across the country are seeing this blackout message on their local CBS station, and the dispute could force viewers to find a new way to watch this Sunday’s Super Bowl. (Image: Cox Communications screen shot)

CBS is airing the most-watched football game of the year this weekend, but Las Vegas residents won’t be able to enjoy it in their own homes if they are cable TV customers. A major rate dispute has put local CBS and Cox Communications in locked-horn battle, and the biggest losers right now are Sin City viewers.

Meanwhile, Las Vegas sports books are gearing up for their busiest weekend of the year, as Super Bowl 50 goes down this Sunday. More than 300,000 tourists are expected to descend on the gambling capital of America to place their bets on football’s biggest game of the year.

Over $115 million is expected to be wagered legally in Las Vegas for the big game, but that money might substantially increase thanks to that contract dispute between cable TV provider Cox Communications and local CBS affiliate KLAS-TV Channel 8.

At 11:59 PM local time on January 29, CBS went off the air to Cox subscribers in LV, and was replaced with a static screen accusing Channel 8 of “demanding a significant fee increase” that resulted in the station being pulled.

CBS has the broadcast rights for Super Bowl 50 between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers, of course. The iconic American event kicks off at 6:30 PM EST on February 7th.

Super Impact

The significance in Cox failing to come to terms with the CBS affiliate owned by Nexstar Broadcasting Group is monumental with the Super Bowl less than a week out. Cox is the largest cable television supplier for Las Vegas’ nearly two million residents.

The blackout could lead to locals venturing to the Strip or to downtown casinos to watch Super Bowl 50 in sports books lounges among both bettors and tourists. Instead of Las Vegans gathering in their homes for NFL parties and casual betting, they might venture into casino sports book to watch Peyton Manning try and win his second NFL championship ring.

And theoretically, at least, more casino patrons would lead to more total wagers.

Power Struggle

The CBS dispute concerns how much Cox should pay Nexstar to obtain the rights to broadcast KLAS-TV. Cox alleges that Nexstar is looking to boost its own bottom line by ramping up retransmission fees.

“Nexstar has not changed their offer in two weeks and is still demanding three times more for its free over-the-air stations for Cox customers.”

Nexstar portrays a different story, naturally, claiming “Cox’s ill-advised action” deprives viewers of “local news and programming produced specifically for these local communities.”

The two sides are arguing over pennies, but those cents quickly add up.

Cox and other cable service providers pay on average less than $1 a month per household to distribute local network affiliates. By comparison, ESPN receives around $8 from Cox each month per subscriber, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Nexstar is looking to enhance revenues by increasing its retransmission fees, but Cox says the surcharge would impair its own goal of providing “free” TV to its customers while “meeting our responsibilities to provide … the most value.”

“Free” is a bit of a misnomer, of course, as Cox, like all cable providers, charges customers its own monthly fees, based on packages that can include movie channels, DVRs, and other add-ons. Even a basic channel lineup still costs with the cable company.

Cox and Nexstar are continuing their negotiations, but as of now, the only thing the two agree on is that they hope to reach an agreement before Super Bowl 50 kicks off on Sunday.

The Cox/Nexstar holdout is just the latest development in Las Vegas that has locals in an uproar. Two weeks ago, MGM Resorts announced it’s doing away with free parking at 11 of its properties along the Strip, tacking on a $10 surcharge per day for even self-parking privileges.

That move has caused so much outrage among local residents that MGM CEO Jim Murren, who said he’d predicted some ire from the Las Vegas populace, was taken aback by the vitriol.

Katie Barlowe

Katie has forgotten more about slots than most people know. Not only does she follow the latest online happenings and developments, but she also knows her way around offline slots too. She's a collector too and enjoys restoring old slot machines when she's not writing news stories for Casino.org.

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  • Retrans fees are a scourge of the biz. Yes, television stations look to make about 1/3 of their revenues from them considering the dish, cable, and fiber providers. But aren't those providers giving the station a huge value already? I mean lets say Cox provides CBS with 50,000 viewers for their advertisements. Isn't that worth something? I guess CBS is going to find out as a market blackout will affect billables for the spots. I mean I worked at a top 30 market station and we billed $50,000 per 30 sec. for our share. That was like a $5500 paycheck for the AE for one spot. We had one AE who sold 3 and she bought a new car with her check just from the Superbowl.

  • Sounds like the writer has never heard of "broadcast TV." Just put an antenna up, and voila, real "free" TV!

  • If in the event the bean counting Perry Sook & Elizabeth Ryder-Nexstar Broadcasting Group chooses to fail to allow Cox to have CBS stations back in time for Super Bowl 50 on CBS, then recommend that the bean counting Perry Sook & Elizabeth Ryder-Nexstar Broadcasting Group should consider cancelling Nexstar's merger deal with Media General to formed Nexstar Media Group on it's own by itself right now as punishment by failing to allow Cox to have CBS stations back in time for Super Bowl 50 on CBS.

    If the bean counting Perry Sook & Elizabeth Ryder-Nexstar Broadcasting Group is very serious in badly wanting Cox to pay up for the increase in retransmission consent fees, recommend that the bean counting Perry Sook & Elizabeth Ryder-Nexstar Broadcasting Group should use the money from the increase in retransmission consent fees from Cox to use it on acquiring various equipment at the TV stations Nexstar controls such as purchase brand new encoders and encoding equipment including video encoders that allow TV stations to live streamed all of the TV stations newscasts and various local events online from the TV stations website and from livestream Nexstar's merger partner Media General currently does and other equipment that would allow Nexstar Broadcasting Group stations using Dual HD with 2 of the Big 4 both in HDTV and a single or dual Little 2/independent in SDTV thanks to improvements in encoders and encoding equipment and other equipment allowing broadcasters and TV stations to be able to transmit 2 1080 or 720 HDTV feeds(either 1 1080 HDTV and 1 720 HDTV on a single RF channel or 2 720 HDTV on a single RF channel) and 1 or 2 480 SDTV feeds being transmitted on a single TV station digital RF channel and fully upgrade to full HDTV facilities from deal-making with hardware and program vendors, preparing to pay for all brand new equipment for the TV stations to be able to share with another TV station when the incentive auction starts as part of the beginning of the spectrum auction, channel sharing, and channel repacking starting on March 29, 2016 to be able to fully make the transition to fully upgrade to ATSC 3.0 in a few years in the future, pay for updating all weather equipment to serve TV viewers even during poor weather conditions, pay employees equal salaries and wages, utilities, finance payments, property taxes, FCC-related legal expenses, insurance premiums including health care costs to it's employees through the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare than using the money from the increase in retransmission consent fees from Cox to help fund Nexstar merger with Media General to formed Nexstar Media Group.

    This is an example of why Perry Sook & Elizabeth Ryder and Nexstar Broadcasting Group is now attempting to be too big on being the 1970's Disco era Neil Bogart Casablanca Records on being way too big on excess paving the way to act like the Southern Methodist University football program of the 1980's, the Tom Brady's and the 2015 New England Patriots deflate football scandal, the Pete Rose's, the Alex Rodriguez's, the Mike Tyson's, and Tonya Harding like assaulted attacks by becoming very greedy, piggish, selfish to force and extort Cox into a take it or leave it deal for payments up to $2.00-$4.00 per month for retransmission consent carriage fees from each Cox subscriber wanting to carry Nexstar Broadcasting Group TV stations as a way to further engage in old rigid Paramount Pictures block booking & blind bidding as tying and old rigid RKO General bribery and dishonest behavior practices in negotiating on retransmission consent deals with Cox in the telecommunications industry with Cox carrying the Nexstar Broadcasting Group TV stations when it couldn't agree to strict rigorous contracts by Nexstar Broadcasting Group just to get what it want in negotiation payments for carriage fees from the Nexstar Broadcasting Group TV stations very badly by wanting to try to be way too big on being the Donald Trump's, the Ku Klux Klan's, the Dylann Roof's, the Syed Rizwan Farook's and Tashfeen Malik's, the Bonnie and Clyde's, the Adolf Hitler's, the Joseph Stalin's, the Saddam Hussein's, the Osama bin Laden's, the Kim Jong-un's, the Vladimir Putin's, the Wal-Mart’s, the AOL-Time Warner's(2000-2003), the Bernard Madoff’s, the Lehman Brothers, the Enron’s, the Worldcom’s, the Adelphia’s, the Tyco’s, the old incarnation of Hostess Brands, the Toyota's and the General Motor's with their problematic automobile recalls, the Martha Stewart’s, the Teresa and Joe Giudice's, the Robert Bobby and Maureen McDonnell's, the Chris Christie's, the Dennis Hastert's, the Ray Nagin's, the Jesse Jackson Jr's, and the Justin Bieber's of the 2000′s by letting greed get out of control so all of the bean counting and bloated head employees and bosses at Nexstar Broadcasting Group can be able to abuse and misuse the retransmission consent carriage fees they earned from the cable and satellite operators to spend it to enjoy carefree lavish spending to support carefree lavish salaries with carefree lavish and luxurious bonuses to the head executives, carefree lavish lifestyles with embezzlement using slush funds, scams, ponzi schemes, insider trading, creative accounting practices, and other white collar crimes, luxurious homes, luxurious jets, luxurious cars, luxurious furs, luxurious jewelry, join luxurious clubs, go on to luxurious shopping sprees, go on to luxurious vacations, luxurious resorts and beaches, go to luxurious bars, go to luxurious hotels, go to luxurious casinos to do gambling, go to luxurious golf courses, go to luxurious ski resorts, go to luxurious tennis courses, go to luxurious volleyball courses, go to horse races, throw luxurious parties including luxurious birthday bashes, go to luxurious dinners, go to luxurious fundraisers, go to luxurious conventions, using slush funds to bribe, lobby, and scam at the FCC, House, Senate, and other government entries in Washington, DC to claim that the retransmission consent payment still working fine and don't need to be change at all and make dealing with cable and satellite too difficult for them to carry the local stations, using slush funds to bribe, lobby, and scam at the FCC, House, Senate, and other government entries in Washington, DC to help allow the broadcasters to buy up more TV stations, using slush funds to bribe, lobby, and scam to the political candidates to help win their election and reelection campaigns, using slush funds to do gambling to place and wager on bets, go to luxurious amusements parks including Disneyland and Walt Disney World, involved with drugs with other people, involved with money laundering with other people, involved with panhandling from other people, involved with racketeering with other people, and spend it on various luxurious gifts, and answer to their investors then trying and willingness to improve the quality of all the Nexstar Broadcasting Group TV stations they owned and control and making the viewers happy in the future by acting like the Ferris Bueller's, the Gordon Gekko's, the Victoria Grayson's, the Liesl Obrecht's, the Victor Newman’s/the Jack Abbott's, the J. R. Ewing's/the Cliff Barnes's, the Alexis Colby's, the Charles Montgomery Burn's/ the Mayor Quimby's, the Cruella de Vil's, the Elsa's, the Garfield cat's, the Cookie Monster's, the Miss Piggy’s, and the Darth Vader's of the broadcasting industry of not coming to reach a deal for retransmission consent carriage fees with Cox to carry the Nexstar Broadcasting Group owned and operated TV stations and cable networks to the viewers with Cox everyday.

    Cox retransmission consent dispute with Nexstar Broadcasting Group can cause Nexstar Broadcasting Group to be big on being the 1970's Disco era Neil Bogart Casablanca Records on being way too big on excess paving the way for Nexstar Broadcasting Group to act like the Southern Methodist University football program of the 1980's, the Tom Brady's and the 2015 New England Patriots deflate football scandal, the Pete Rose's, the Alex Rodriguez's, the Mike Tyson's, and Tonya Harding like assaulted attacks by becoming very greedy, piggish, selfish to force and extort Cox into a take it or leave it deal for payments up to $2.00-$4.00 per month for retransmission consent carriage fees from each Cox subscriber wanting to carry Nexstar Broadcasting Group TV stations as a way to further engage in old rigid Paramount Pictures block booking & blind bidding as tying and old rigid RKO General bribery and other dishonest behavior practices in negotiating on retransmission consent deals with Cox in the telecommunications industry with Cox carrying the Nexstar Broadcasting Group TV stations when it couldn't agree to strict rigorous contracts by Nexstar Broadcasting Group just to get what it want in negotiation payments for carriage fees from the Nexstar Broadcasting Group TV stations very badly in retransmission consent contract deals with Cox and other MSOs in the telecommunications industry to abuse and misuse the retransmission consent payment option to force cable and satellite to pay added surcharges to carry digital subchannels that cable and satellite isn't interested in carrying in order for carriage of carrying the main station, force cable and satellite to carry stations in markets where cable and satellite isn't interested in carrying in order of carriage of carrying the stations in markets where cable and satellite is interested in carrying at all, help fund and pay for other broadcast stations that cable and satellite operators don't carry in areas where they don't serve at all, fund stations the broadcaster owns for another broadcasting group connected to the same person connecting to the ownership on the TV station unrelated to the retransmission mission dispute, fund stations that are not yet on the air, fund stations that they are considering thinking about acquiring or have yet to complete the purchase of a single station or purchase of multiple stations they're acquiring from a broadcasting group or from a competing broadcasting group, and fund to pay for stations they manage in a JSA/LMA/SSA agreement with another owner or a competing broadcasting group getting siphoned to negotiate a retransmission consent agreement “that is directly or indirectly conditioned on carriage of any other programming affiliated with such station (or with a person who owns or controls, is owned or controlled by, or is under common ownership or control with such station)’’ by abusing and misusing the retransmission consent payment system.

    The dispute is mainly wanting Cox to pay the increase in retransmission consent fees and how much it wants to pay for Nexstar Broadcasting Group stations to help pay down all the debts after Nexstar Broadcasting Group paid to acquire TV stations from Communications Corporation Of America, Citadel, Grant, Hoak, KASW from Meredith, KLAS from Landmark, Reiten, and West Virginia Media and possibly the fees for the bid but lost to Sinclair Broadcast Group for the pursue on acquiring NTV(KHGI-KWNB)/KFXL FOX Nebraska from Harry Pappas Telecasting/Pappas Liquidating Trust in the bankruptcy auction sale likely as a pre-condition for Nexstar to fully be able to be allowed to fully acquire KCWI from Harry Pappas Telecasting/Pappas Liquidating Trust for Nexstar to run KCWI in tandam with WOI, for the improvements over at their stations including for the rights for $.50-1.00 per month to NBC for reverse compensation under Comcast, $.90-1.00 per month to CBS for reverse compensation, $.50-1.00 per month to ABC for reverse compensation under Disney, $.50-1.00 per month to FOX for reverse compensation under 21st Century Fox, $.25 to $.50 per month to CW for reverse compensation, $.25 per month to TeleMundo for reverse compensation under Comcast, up to $.50 to $1.00 per month for syndicated programming, purchase brand new encoders and encoding equipment including video encoders that allow TV stations to live streamed all of the TV stations newscasts and various local events online from the TV stations website and from livestream Nexstar's merger partner Media General currently does and other equipment that would allow Nexstar Broadcasting Group stations using Dual HD with 2 of the Big 4 both in HDTV and a single or dual Little 2/independent in SDTV thanks to improvements in encoders and encoding equipment and other equipment allowing broadcasters and TV stations to be able to transmit 2 1080 or 720 HDTV feeds(either 1 1080 HDTV and 1 720 HDTV on a single RF channel or 2 720 HDTV on a single RF channel) and 1 or 2 480 SDTV feeds being transmitted on a single TV station digital RF channel and fully upgrade to full HDTV facilities from deal-making with hardware and program vendors, preparing to pay for all brand new equipment for the TV stations to be able to share with another TV station when the incentive auction starts as part of the beginning of the spectrum auction, channel sharing, and channel repacking starting on March 29, 2016 to be able to fully make the transition to fully upgrade to ATSC 3.0 in a few years in the future, pay for updating all weather equipment to serve TV viewers even during poor weather conditions, pay employees equal salaries and wages, utilities, finance payments, property taxes, FCC-related legal expenses, insurance premiums including health care costs to it's employees through the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare, and Nexstar Broadcasting Group is likely forcing Cox to pay up to $2-$2.40 to $4.00 per month from each subscriber for the Nexstar Broadcasting Group TV stations by engaging in old rigid Paramount Pictures block booking & blind bidding by tying and old RKO General bribery & dishonest behavioral practices and also wanting the added surcharge money being siphoned to help launch down payments to paid off the debt of merging with Media General to formed Nexstar Media Group.

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Katie Barlowe