PHILADELPHIA—Comcast has announced that eight out-of-market Hearst TV-owned stations will be removed for Comcast customers at the end of March and beginning of April.
According to Comcast’s Xfinity website, seven markets will lose access on March 31 to neighboring Hearst TV stations, five more will lose access on April 6. According to TV Tech’s sister publication Multichannel News, this is part of a large retransmission consent agreement, which will keep almost 40 out-or-market stations available to Comcast customers.
While customers will lose access to these stations, Comcast says that the market’s local station affiliate with the same network will still be available in all of these areas.
Here are the markets that are losing an out-of-market Hearst-owned station on March 31:
- Twin City, Ga.; losing WJCL (ABC)
- Horse Cave, Ky.; losing WLKY (CBS)
- Newberry, S.C.; losing WYFF (NBC)
- Tell City, Ind.; losing WLKY (CBS)
- Connersville, Richmond, Lynn-Winchester, Ind.; losing WLWT (NBC)
- Bedford, Ind.; WLKY (CBS)
- Galax, Va.; losing WXII (NBC)
The markets losing stations on April 6 include:
- Portales, N.M.; losing KOAT (ABC)
- Chico/Oroville, Calif.; losing KCRA (NBC)
- Las Cruces, N.M; losing KOAT (ABC)
- Contra Costa/Solano County, Calif,; losing KCRA (NBC)
- Santa Clara County, Calif; losing KSBW (NBC)
Back in December, Hearst said that it would start charging for out-of-market stations, which would have resulted in Comcast dropping 38 stations in 35 markets. However, in some cases this could have resulted in certain markets losing news related to their actual state. For instance, residents in Bristol County, Mass., were in jeopardy of losing Boston’s WCVB (ABC) because it was also served but a Rhode Island ABC affiliate. Legislators representing Massachusetts sent letters to Comcast about this potential issue.
On Dec. 15, 2020, Comcast said it reached a deal with Hearst for it to continue carrying out-of-market stations free of charge.
This removal of stations, however, is part of a normal process of reviewing channel lineups, Comcast said.
The stations will be removed in the mentioned markets at 12:01 a.m. on the respective dates.
For more information, visit Comcast’s website.
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