Sinclair Urges Frontier Subscribers to Pay Someone Else for TV

Expecting a blackout starting Jan. 1, Sinclair Broadcast Group Tuesday recommended Frontier cable subscribers in Seattle, Wash. and Portland, Ore. find a new pay-TV provider.

“While we apologize for the inconvenience, we want to remind Frontier subscribers that there are other video distributor options, such as Comcast, DirecTV and Dish, available to provide their local stations’ programming, plus they can always watch for free over-the-air,” said Barry Faber, Sinclair’s executive VP of distribution and network relations.

Faber said there is no retransmission deal between Sinclair and Frontier in sight, meaning Frontier subscribers will likely lose access to the group’s Northwest ABC affiliates—KOMO Seattle and KATU Portland. Frontier serves roughly 3% of Seattle and Portland households, he said.

However, Frontier said it will drop Sinclair’s Tennis Channel as well, which will have a more far-reaching impact, according to Faber. “It is particularly unfortunate that Frontier would choose to deny Tennis Channel to hundreds of thousands of homes that involuntarily became Frontier subscribers earlier this year as a result of Frontier’s recent acquisition of Verizon FiOS systems in Florida, Texas and California,” he said.