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Mayoral debate to get wider audience despite KITV blackout on Oceanic

By Erika Engle

LAST UPDATED: 12:29 p.m. HST, Jul 11, 2012

The KITV "Honolulu Mayoral Debate" tonight will be simulcast on all three stations of competitor Hawaii News Now as well as KHVH-AM 830 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. PBS Hawaii (KHET-TV) will rebroadcast the debate beginning at 9 p.m.

"In order to best serve the public with this important debate, Hawaii's local broadcasters have agreed to make the production as widely available as possible," said Andrew Jackson, president and general manager of KITV, today.

The debate was facing the prospect of a limited audience because a contract dispute between the parent companies of KITV and Oceanic Time Warner Cable has blacked out KITV and ABC network programming for Oceanic subscribers, the bulk of Hawaii households. KITV remains blacked out on Oceanic today for the second straight day, but programming still is available over the air and via the DirecTV and DISH Network satellite services as well as on Hawaiian Telcom TV.

KITV programming on Oceanic has been replaced by Hallmark Channel shows.

KGMB-TV, KHNL-TV and KFVE-TV, the stations that make up Hawaii News Now, will simulcast the 90-minute debate featuring the top three mayoral candidates, because "we thought it was the right thing to do," HNN News Director Mark Platte said today.

Full prime-time programming will subsequently air on KGMB and KHNL, with those stations' news to be delayed until 10:30 p.m.

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