Some football fans in Massachusetts and Rhode Island had to scramble to find alternative ways to watch the Eagles-Cowboys Thanksgiving game as the Fox station in the area, WFXT-TV, which carries the matchup, went dark on Verizon FiOS at 3 AM Thursday, affecting 400,000 customers. The reason is awfully familiar – another retransmission fee dispute between Verizon and Cox Media Group, which bought the Boston-based station WFXT-TV from Fox in June and embarked on renegotiating retransmission fees. As usual, each side points finger at the other.
“Over the past seven years we always enjoyed a good relationship with the previous owners, securing agreements without even the hint of removing the channel,” Verizon said in a statement. “Unfortunately, Cox is now threatening to remove these channel(s) from the FiOS TV lineup over its demands for millions of dollars more in fees, something they have done in other markets.”
Said WFXT FOX 25, “By law, FOX 25 must negotiate carriage agreements with cable companies like Verizon FiOS. Usually, these deals are reached without any disruption to your service. In fact, our company has negotiated dozens of agreements with only the rarest of disruptions. Unfortunately, so far,Verizon FiOS has refused to reach a fair, market-based deal to carry FOX 25.”