Brief History of WSKI Cable TV in Carrabassett Valley

Early 1970′s

A private TV service was arranged by Sugarloaf to accommodate condominium and home development in the immediate area of “the mountain”. A coaxial cable was installed from the top of the mountain, owned by Sugarloaf.


Somerset Telephone Co. was hired by Sugarloaf to maintain “cable TV service”.


Sugarloaf (Chip Carey) was given studio TV equipment from Emerson College. For six months a message board was installed in studio (basement closet) space provided by Sugarloaf in the old Baselodge.


Nadene McLeod hired as station supervisor by Chip Carey with Trail & Weather report recorded daily during winter, the “Wheel” & limited programming (ski movies & Inn Room feature movies).

From its origin to current operation, WSKI’s trail & weather conditions were & are the #1 reason why people tune in to watch WSKI-TV. Additional local programming included Sugarloaf Management Memo, the Competition Series & other pre-recorded productions. Financing was primarily from Sugarloaf with additional limited local business sponsorships.

Closed circuit cable station WSKI operated on Channel 11 until approx. 1985 when it was shifted to Channel 17. It was non-FCC regulated as a CCTV, not a broadcasting station, therefore not subjected to register with FCC for the call letters “WSKI” due to no use of public airwaves.

March 1986

Sugarloaf’s filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection resulted in the termination of operation of WSKI.

Early autumn 1986

McLeod & Jeff Dumais (employed at WSKI since 1982) signed a contract with Sugarloaf to assume independent operation of WSKI as Snowfields Productions for a return to programming for the winter 1986-87.

Snowfields’ goal was and remains: To create a local resort television station serving the greater Sugarloaf region, which is the #1 source of information & entertainment for guests and residents, by giving the information they want / need to know to ensure they have an experience that is better because of that information, while enjoying recreational activities and outdoor adventures in the greater Sugarloaf region.

Sept. 1986

Memorandum of Understanding between Sugarloaf and Somerset Telephone Co. Somerset construct cable TV facilities; Sugarloaf pay monthly rent to Somerset; and Somerset responsible for maintenance.

Prior to Dec. 1, 1987

Fees collected by Sugarloaf.

Dec. 1, 1987

Longfellow solely responsible for all maintenance and Longfellow collects cable fees. Around this time, coverage was expanded off mountain to the Towns of Kingfield, Carrabassett Valley, and Stratton.

Dec.21, 1987

Somerset assigns to Longfellow and Sugarloaf consents.

Feb. 1988

Franchise Agreement between Longfellow Cable TV and Town (10 yrs. with 10 yr. renewal option) provided that “At the request of a majority of subscribers, the Grantee (Longfellow) shall set aside one channel within Grantee’s system which shall be dedicated to public access services”.

April 1988

Sept. 86′ agreement between Sugarloaf and Somerset (now Longfellow) terminated; established certain additional terms of agreement regarding their on-going relationship and “recognition of continued and future provision of quality cable TV facilities is an important and valuable promotional and marketing feature for Sugarloaf as a four-season recreation facility and they desire to provide such a cable facility to Sugarloaf’s patrons”. Longfellow also agreed to: “include in the Sugarloaf system a feed of the Public Access Channel serving the Town of CV if and when such channel is established for the Town of CV”.

91-92′ (approximately)

Longfellow sold to Frontier Vision (owned by Stanley Morgan Fame).

96′ (approximately)

Frontier sold to Adelphia.

Nov. 13th, 2001

Franchise Agreement between Town and Adelphia (10-yr. agreement). Town allowed up to two PEG channels; WSKI was labeled as one of those at that time by Adelphia despite full awareness that it had been operating since 1979 as a commercial station. As the #1 rated station in the local market, Adelphia wished to continue to carry WSKI as it was/is a key to selling cable subscriptions in the area, whereas the competition did/does not offer WSKI from TV Satellite Dish receivers.


Arbitron & ten years of Nielsen ratings consistently show WSKI is the most watched channel in our market.

Jan. 2007

Adelphia sold to Time Warner and Snowfields Productions invited Time Warner to visit and see the successful operation of a local station that is #1 in the market year after year, signing an agreement as a Leased Access Channel with Time Warner.


RSN becomes Outside Television, with WSKI continuing as an affiliate of the national resort-based network.