Based on a demand by the parent companies of WTOL-TV, Channel 11, and WUPW-TV, Channel 36, Buckeye CableSystem stopped broadcasting Channel 36 at 5 p.m. today.
American Spirit Media, owner of Fox station Channel 36, and Raycom, owner of CBS station Channel 11, demanded that Buckeye stop broadcasting Channel 36 by this afternoon because of a legal dispute among the three companies. Buckeye sued the two companies in May regarding the cost of rebroadcasting the station on cable.
Raycom and American Spirit media have a shared services agreement, which allows for the sharing of staff and duplication of some news programming.
Brad Mefferd, president and general manager of Buckeye CableSystem, said American Spirit Media is trying to charge Buckeye more for the low-rated Fox-station because it shares programming with WTOL. The two aren't operated by the same company, offer different options to viewers, and shouldn't be subject to the same pricing, he said.
Buckeye placed a message to viewers on Buckeye Channel 12, which carried Channel 36 until today: "WUPW has ordered Buckeye CableSystem to remove WUPW's signal from our system. To be clear, this is not Buckeye's decision, but WUPW's decision to withhold its station from our viewers. We regret that you cannot receive this station. Buckeye will continue to try to negotiate for the return of WUPW."