By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman
TV Answer Man, I appreciate your article showing all the channel blackouts with the big TV companies now. Should we expect there will be more of these in the near future? Do you know which TV providers might be affected? — Jamie, Reston, Virginia.
Jamie, Comcast, DIRECTV and Dish are all now involved in at least one carriage dispute that has caused a channel blackout for their subscribers. DIRECTV and Dish both have multiple fee fights ongoing and there’s no indication that any of them will end soon. (Charter’s Spectrum TV just settled its fight with Disney after an 11-day blackout of ESPN and other channels.) The battles have undoubtedly created anxiety among pay TV subscribers whether they are personally impacted now or not. Television is supposed to be fun and it’s certainly not fun knowing that your favorite channel is missing or could be missing at any time in the future. But will there be another carriage dispute in the coming weeks? Here are the most likely possibilities.
Comcast says at its web site that its carriage agreement with Cox Media, which owns 10 local network affiliates, is scheduled to expire this month. There’s no indication that the two sides won’t be able to extend the current contract, but recent history suggests you can’t assume they will. Both TV providers and broadcasters are inclined to play hardball these days with the pay TV industry reeling due to cord-cutting. Here are the 10 Cox Media stations that could be pulled from the Xfinity lineup if they don’t get a new deal:
KEVU – Eugene – MY
KIRO – Seattle-Tacoma – CBS
KLSR – Eugene – FOX
WFOX – Jacksonville – FOX
WFTV – Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne – ABC
WFXT – Boston (Manchester) – FOX
WHIO – Dayton – CBS
WPXI – Pittsburgh – NBC
WRDQ – Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne – IND
WSB – Atlanta – ABC
Two other carriage battles to watch: DIRECTV is negotiating with Diamond Sports to renew its agreement to carry the Bally Sports regional sports networks. The current pact ends in late October. And Comcast’s Bally deal is also scheduled to expire this fall although we don’t have a more specific timetable.
As always, The TV Answer Man will monitor current and future carriage battles and report back here when we learn more. Until then, happy viewing and stay safe!
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at email@example.com Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann