"They have now come to Toledo, and are demanding ten times more than what the previous owners of WNWO required," said a Buckeye Cablesystem executive in a YouTube video put out by the cable company.
WNWO contacted Buckeye Cable for comment, but they declined, saying they are, "getting the word out."
Sinclair's EVP and general council Barry Faber says that under previous ownership, and for years, WNWO was grossly underpaid by Buckeye. "The money that they were being paid under their last contract was just ridiculously below the market rate," said Faber of WNWO in a phone interview.
Some Buckeye customers don't care about the market rates and contracts. "I just think cable is way too expensive," said one woman.
Customers just know that they are unable to view a major network channel. "All I know as the consumer is that I miss the channel. There were a lot of shows I used to watch regularly, and now I can't," said Buckeye customer Connie Cameron.
Buckeye contends that WNWO wants more money, which might result in higher costs to viewers. Yet, the fact is viewers pay Buckeye Cable, and companies like them, for channels they don't watch. For example, a subscriber may not have young children, but they still pay for the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon.Or, viewers might not want to watch a game of cricket on ESPN 3, but they pay for that too.
Faber says WNWO has been getting only a fraction of what local competition gets, and now that the old contract is up, WNWO is asking for the increase, which still won't match others in the market.
Faber says, "It's not like we're out there trying to gouge anybody. We're still accepting less than we are really worth."
Faber says Buckeye customers have two choices, they can either switch carriers, or they can demand that the cable companies only charge for the channels each subscriber watches.