Verizon Fios Subscribers Facing Tegna Blackout in Fee Dispute

(Image credit: Verizon)

Verizon Fios subscribers could lose access to programming from TV stations owned by Tegna in a year-end retransmission dispute.

A potential blackout would mainly affect Verizon subscribers in the Washington, D.C. market. 

Tegna’s current agreement with Verizon Fios expires at the end of the year.

“We have been working for some time to come to fair terms with Tegna and will continue to work diligently to reach a fair agreement on behalf of our customers. However, Tegna has proposed an immediate and unacceptable rate increase of almost 50% to carry their stations. We will not stand for this,” Verizon said in a statement. 

“Tegna has a track record here - they are actively in dispute with other providers and have pulled content from their customers as a result. Unfortunately, Fios customers could face the same experience,” Verizon said.

Tegna’s stations have been blacked out on Dish TV since October 5 in a dispute that affects 3 million customers in 53 markets. Dish filed a complaint against Tegna claiming it violated FCC good faith negotiating rules. Tegna fired back with its own cross complaint about Dish, which Dish called “meritless.”

“We will continue to work hard to put our customers first and come to a fair agreement,” Verizon said.

In addition to Tegna’s station in Washington. D.C., some Verizon subscribers also watch Tegna’s NBC affiliate in Buffalo, its Fox affiliate in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and its ABC affiliate in Norfolk, Virginia.

“We are working hard to reach a fair, market-based agreement with Verizon based on the competitive terms we’ve used to reach deals with other major providers,” Tegna said in a statement. ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.