Paxson Loses in Arbitration With Equity Broadcasting

Aug 27, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Television station owner Equity Broadcasting Corp. on Friday said a three-judge panel ruled that Paxson Communications Corp. breached the most-favored nations provisions in its network affiliate agreement with EBC by failing to shorten its 10-year agreement to two years after the network changed its format.

As a result of the ruling, EBC, which owns 19 stations, said it will drop Pax TV programming from four stations effective midnight Aug. 29.

The panel also ruled that EBC should have been exempted from broadcasting Pax TV infomercial and religious programming since 2001. The panel will hold a hearing later this year to determine what damages EBC is entitled to as a result of Paxson’s violation.

The stations that will cease broadcasting Pax TV programming include WPXS-TV in St. Louis; WBMM-TV in Montgomery, Ala.; WBIF-TV in Panama City, Fla.; and KWBS-TV in Springfield, Mo.

The ruling comes a week after Paxson was notified that NBC asked a Delaware judge to sort out the tussle between the two companies over a payment NBC says it is entitled to later this year as a result of its decision to sell its 32 percent stake in Paxson.