Fewer than two dozen local television stations across the nation have succeeded in establishing 24-hour local news channels on cable networks, with mixed success.
But media company McGraw-Hill believes a joint venture between KMGH-Channel 7 in Denver and Arapahoe County-based AT&T Broadband would be financially profitable, using a San Diego model as an example, McGraw-Hill executives said.
McGraw-Hill, parent company of KMGH, has demanded establishment of a 24-hour news channel as part of its negotiations with AT&T Broadband over distribution rights for Channel 7's programming.
Channel 7, an ABC affiliate, says it will refuse to give AT&T retransmission rights for its programming unless the cable network agrees to the 24-hour news channel, effectively establishing a second KMGH channel.
The current retransmission agreement expires at midnight Tuesday. A letter from KMGH makes clear to AT&T that AT&T does not have permission to continue broadcasting the station's signal in the Denver area as of New Year's Day..........
"That's inventory (channel capacity) that the cable company is going to be reluctant to give up," Myers said. "I would expect, given Comcast's history, it will be very difficult for (KMGH) to win this battle."
Comcast recently purchased AT&T Broadband, which continues to conduct business temporarily under its old name.
"You're more likely to see a possibility of a cable operator saying, 'Fine, we won't carry the ABC affiliate,' " Myers said. "Cable operators historically don't like blackmail, and Comcast is historically the toughest of negotiators out there."