For more than 120 years, Harrisonville Telephone Company (HTC) has provided reliable, quality communications services to its customers. From its beginnings as a telephone service provider to its internet and television offerings today, HTC has remained steadfast in its mission to deliver high quality products at affordable prices to the communities it serves. Despite this commitment, Harrisonville customers have experienced staunch bundling packages and infuriating fee increases. Why? Because the 1992 Retransmission Consent provision enables abusive broadcaster behavior. Retransmission Consent means that broadcasters may grant or deny carriage of their signals, which leaves companies like HTC in an upstream fight without a paddle.
This year, for example, HTC experienced per-channel increases of over 100 percent, an unsurprising detriment based on past years’ price surging. In fact, in the past ten years broadcasters have displayed what HTC considers a “never-ending escalation of rate increases.” The exploitation doesn’t stop there. In 2016, broadcasters decided to force multicast channels on the company— and yes, “force” is the correct term. HTC was asked to carry the channels or be in direct violation of the local broadcast retransmission agreement.
Harrisonville Television Company is losing consumers. It’s losing revenue. It’s losing the faith of its customers. And, it’s losing patience in the Retransmission Consent process.