Verizon FiOS Puts Nearly Three Million Subscribers in the Middle, Rather than Reach Fair Agreement
New York City, Philadelphia, Buffalo and Providence Markets Affected
IRVING, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Tonight at 12 a.m. ET, Verizon FiOS removed from its cable systems the network and local community programming provided to nearly three million of its subscribers by 13 local television stations owned by Nexstar Media Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Nexstar Media Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: NXST) (“Nexstar”). Verizon FiOS is refusing to reach a new distribution agreement allowing the cable company the right to continue airing the highly-rated programming on Nexstar’s local stations. As a result, millions of Americans across the country have lost local news, traffic, weather, sports, and entertainment programming as well as critical, up-to-date news regarding the mid-term elections and possible hurricanes in the South and on the East Coast, as well as college and NFL football this weekend. In addition, Verizon FiOS also removed Nexstar’s national cable news network, NewsNation, from its cable systems, denying subscribers access to the news and analysis of such shows as “Cuomo,” “Dan Abrams Live,” and “Banfield.”
Nexstar has been negotiating tirelessly and in good faith in an attempt to reach a mutually agreeable multi-year contract with Verizon FiOS, offering the same fair market rates it offered to other large distribution partners with whom it completed successful negotiations in earlier this year. Nexstar routinely reaches amicable retransmission and carriage agreements with its cable, satellite, and telco partners—in the last three years alone, the company has successfully completed agreements with more than 500 distribution partners.
Following Verizon FiOS’ actions, subscribers in 10 Nexstar markets including New York City, Philadelphia, Providence, and Buffalo, have lost access to thousands of hours of vitally important local news, just as the country prepares to hold mid-term elections that could determine the balance of power in Congress and the winter storm season hits. In addition, as a result of Verizon FiOS’ actions, subscribers will not be able to view this weekend’s college and NFL football games, and all of the entertainment programming provided by Nexstar’s network partners, CBS, FOX, NBC, ABC, The CW and MyNet. If the interruption in service continues for a protracted period of time, Verizon FiOS subscribers are at risk of losing access to the NFL Playoffs. Viewers in Nexstar markets are being urged to call Verizon FiOS and ask for refunds to compensate them for the loss of this highly-rated valuable programming.
Nexstar remains hopeful that a resolution can be reached quickly to return to viewers their favorite network programming, NFL football, in-depth local news and other local content relevant to their communities, and critical emergency updates for which Verizon FiOS is charging its subscribers.
Consumers and viewers affected by the blackout can phone Verizon FiOS at 888/553-1555.
About Nexstar Media Group, Inc.
Nexstar Media Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXST) is a leading diversified media company that produces and distributes engaging local and national news, sports and entertainment content across television, streaming and digital platforms, including nearly 300,000 hours of original video content each year. Nexstar owns America’s largest local broadcasting group comprised of top network affiliates, with 200 owned or partner stations in 116 U.S. markets reaching 212 million people. Nexstar’s national television properties include The CW, America’s fifth major broadcast network, NewsNation, America’s fastest-growing national news and entertainment cable network reaching 70 million television homes, popular entertainment multicast networks Antenna TV and Rewind TV, and a 31.3% ownership stake in TV Food Network. The Company’s portfolio of digital assets, including The Hill and BestReviews, are collectively a Top 10 U.S. digital news and information property. In addition to delivering exceptional content and service to our communities, Nexstar provides premium multiplatform and video-on-demand advertising opportunities at scale for businesses and brands seeking to leverage the strong consumer engagement of our compelling content offering. For more information, please visit Nexstar.tv.
Nexstar Media Contact:
EVP & Chief Communications Officer
Joseph Jaffoni or Jennifer Neuman
212/835-8500 or [email protected]