Verizon FiOS this morning lost 13 local Nexstar-owned TV stations in a carriage dispute between the companies.

Nexstar says the blackout will affect nearly three million Verizon customers in 10 markets, including New York City, Philadelphia, Providence, and Buffalo. In addition to the local stations, Verizon has lost the Nexstar-owned News Nation channel.

The two companies are arguing over how much Verizon should pay to carry the Nexstar stations. Both sides this morning issued statements blaming the other for the impasse.

“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 said. “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.”

“We are committed to providing customers with the best value in entertainment,” Verizon countered in its statement. “Fios TV programming is supplied by various content providers. We must periodically renegotiate our agreements to continue offering their programming. Our contract with Nexstar ended on October 14, 2022 and your Fios TV package contains Nexstar channels.  We currently do not have the rights to show their programming. We are trying our best to reach a reasonable deal with Nexstar and hope Nexstar will restore its channels to our lineup soon. We apologize that your service has been disrupted.  Nexstar has proposed charging as much as 64% more for its programming. Verizon remains committed to making these channels available to our customers, but simply cannot agree to such unreasonable increases. Rest assured, we understand that you value Nexstar’s content, and we are working hard to reach a deal that will allow you to keep enjoying the programming you love.”

The Verizon markets affected by the blackout include:

Washington, D.C.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Freehold, New Jersey

Queens, New York
Greenwich, Connecticut

The TV Answer Man will update this article if anything changes in the dispute.

In a separate carriage battle, Fox last night signed a new agreement with Altice’s Optimum, avoiding a potential blackout on the New York area cable TV service.

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— Phillip Swann