WUPW, the local Fox affiliate, is back on Buckeye CableSystem today.
“The parties have reached an agreement that provides for the return of WUPW to the Buckeye system,” Brad Mefferd, Buckeye president and general manager said in a statement issued about 1:30 p.m. Terms of the settlement were not released.
The channel came back just hours before the kickoff of the NFC championship game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Atlanta Falcons.
Based on a demand from the parent companies of WUPW-TV, Channel 36, and WTOL-TV, Channel 11, Buckeye CableSystem stopped broadcasting WUPW in mid-December. The demand stemmed from an ongoing legal dispute among American Spirit Media, owner of WUPW, Raycom Media, owner of WTOL, and Buckeye. American Spirit Media and Raycom wanted to charge Buckeye more to rebroadcast WUPW, a Fox station, because it shares facilities, staff, and news broadcasts with WTOL, a CBS affiliate.
Buckeye executives believed the company should not pay an increased rate for WUPW, which is at or near the bottom of area ratings during most of the station’s daytime and prime-time programming periods.