Atlanta, Ga. — Four Cox Media Group Television stations have been removed from distributor Verizon Fios after the two companies were unable to come to terms on a new retransmission consent agreement.
The blackout affects Verizon customers in key markets, including Pittsburgh, Boston and Syracuse. The previous agreement expired on Tuesday, December 31st at midnight. Despite weeks of negotiations, Verizon has decided to remove WPXI-Pittsburgh, WFXT-Boston 25 News, and WSYT and WNYS in Syracuse from its channel lineup, and Verizon subscribers in these markets will no longer be able to access these leading stations that have served their markets as local news leaders for years.
Cox Media Group has been negotiating in good faith, working into late hours of the evening to come to an agreement. At multiple points in the negotiation, CMG offered Verizon extensions to avoid disruption to their customers. Unfortunately, Verizon has refused all extension offers and instead, made the decision to remove these stations as they continued the negotiation. Cox Media Group has made every effort to get Verizon to restore these stations to their lineup and will continue to negotiate in good faith to reach a resolution as quickly as possible.
“CMG has made significant investments in our people, compelling programming, and equipment, to make our stations the best in class,” said CMG CEO Kim Guthrie.
“It should also be noted that these communities rely on our stations for local news and strong network programming and these stations are supported by teams of dedicated, local employees. Verizon is seeking the right to carry our stations at well below current market rates and on terms that no other video provider has demanded.”
Cox Media Group cannot force Verizon to strike a deal to keep its stations’ programming on Verizon’s channel lineup. This dispute will not affect the vast majority of viewers, as the Cox programming will remain available for viewers over-the-air and on all other distribution outlets. It should be noted that CMG has agreements with every other major cable and satellite distributor.
If you are a Verizon customer in an impacted market, you can contact Verizon at 1-800-837-4966 to let your opinion be heard. CMG hopes to continue negotiations with Verizon to reach an agreement soon.
HOW TO WATCH BOSTON 25 NEWS:
You can always watch Boston 25 News for free on our mobile livestream, our Boston 25 Now mobile app, and our Boston 25 Smart TV app available on Roku, Amazon Firestick, and AppleTV. You can also watch Boston 25 over the air with an antenna.
HOW TO WATCH BOSTON 25 NEWS ON ROKU:
HOW TO WATCH BOSTON 25 NEWS ON AMAZON FIRE TV STICK:
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