Verizon And Hearst Television Reach Deal To Avoid Fios Blackouts


Verizon and Hearst Television struck a deal overnight that will keep nine Hearst owned-and-operated stations including in Baltimore, Pittsburgh and the Boston area from going dark on Verizon Fios systems. No details were disclosed Friday on the new retransmission contract, which replaces the old one that was set to expire December 31.

A Verizon spokesperson confirmed the deal to Deadline today after media outlets reported the company sent a note to subscribers saying the deal was done.

Hearst stations in Fios’ lineup include WBAL-NBC in Baltimore, WGAL-NBC in Harrisburg, PA, WTAE-ABC in Pittsburgh, and WCVB-ABC and WMUR-ABC in Boston/Manchester. The station lineup also provides content from MeTV and Cozi TV.

Verizon, the nation’s sixth-largest operator, warned customers earlier this week that a blackout was possible, saying Hearst was demanding a 45% increase that would force customers’ monthly bills to go up.

Hearst owns and operates TV and radio stations in 26 markets in 39 states, reaching a total of 21 million U.S. television households.

Verizon on Friday also said a retrans agreement with Gray Television expired as of December 31, with two stations in Richmond, VA — WWBT-NBC and WUVP-CW — impacted.

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