NEW YORK–Following reports over the weekend that Nextstar and Comcast (opens in new tab) had come to terms on a new carriage agreement, the parties filed papers in the Southern District of New York Federal Court indicating they had settled a lawsuit relating to a long-running carriage dispute regarding WPIX in New York. The judge presiding over the case issued an order dismissing the litigation unless one of the parties files to reinstate it in the next 45 days.
TV Tech has separately confirmed that Nexstar and Comcast have reached a new carriage agreement and the new agreement led to the dismissal of the Federal litigation.
If the agreement had not been reached, about 90 Nexstar stations could have been blacked out in Comcast systems around the country. In addition, the two parties came to an agreement that restored WPIX station (opens in new tab) to Comcast systems in the Tri-State area.
Comcast had been forced to drop WPIX on Dec. 3 (opens in new tab) after its carriage agreement with Mission Broadcasting had expired. Nexstar handles the retransmission negotiations for WPIX.
The dispute dates back to 2021 when Comcast filed a complaint with the FCC relating to its carriage dispute with WPIX arguing that Nexstar was violating the ownership (opens in new tab) caps by handling the retransmission consent negotiations for Mission Broadcasting.
Nexstar followed up by suing Comcast in the Southern District of New York (opens in new tab) for unpaid retransmission fees.
“Comcast has flouted the terms of the parties’” agreement and refused to pay “millions of dollars,” the suit said.
The new carriage agreement and the restoration of WPIX on Comcast systems led that litigation being settled.
Another issue is the ongoing dispute with the FCC. On December 12, 2022, Comcast filed a formal complaint (opens in new tab) with the FCC saying Mission Broadcasting and Nexstar had refused to negotiate in good faith.
In an email to TV Tech a Comcast spokesperson said: “Our recent retransmission consent agreement with Nexstar settles the pending litigation our companies have in the Southern District of New York. However, it does not address our proceedings at the FCC, which remain open.”
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George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.
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