NEW YORK—Tegna local stations were dropped from Verizon Fios TV on Tuesday January 5, after the two companies were unable to reach a new retransmission consent agreement.
The two companies extended the deadline to January 5 after the old agreement expired last week but were unable to reach a new deal.
In a statement, Tegna said:
“We have been working for months to reach a fair, market-based agreement with Verizon based on the competitive terms we’ve used to reach deals with other major providers. We even offered Verizon an extension that kept our stations available to viewers through the holiday weekend. We are especially disappointed that Verizon has pulled access at a time when local broadcast stations are a lifeline, connecting people to the news, information, and entertainment they need and want most. We hope that Verizon realizes how important our stations are to their subscribers and works with us to reach a fair agreement.”
The majority of the subs impacted are in the D.C. market, with Buffalo, Norfolk, Harrisburg and Hartford also affected.
Verizon said the following channels were impacted:
- WUSA CBS (509 HD / 9 SD) in Washington D.C.
- WPMT FOX (504 HD / 4 SD) in York/Harrisburg/Lancaster/Lebanon, Pennsylvania.
- WVEC ABC (513 HD / 13 SD) in Hampton/Norfolk/Virginia Beach, Virginia.
- WGRZ NBC (502 HD / 2 SD) in Buffalo/Niagara Falls, New York and Toronto/Niagara Falls, Ontario.
- WCCT CW (491, 516 HD / 16 SD) in Waterbury/Hartford/New Haven, Connecticut.
In a statement, Verizon apologized for the disruption and said “We are trying our best to reach a reasonable deal with Tegna and hope Tegna will restore its channels to our lineup soon.”
Verizon also noted that “This is not the first time that Tegna has removed their content from a TV provider. Tegna has a track record of removing their content when a TV provider refuses to accept their demands for unreasonable rate increases.”
There has also been a blackout of Tegna stations impacting Mediacom customers since December 31, 2020.
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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