Retransmission Consent

Connecticut Station Ends Two-Month Altice Blackout

WFSB, Altice USA reach retrans pact 3/17/2017 4:13 PM Eastern

Altice USA said it has reached a retransmission consent agreement with WFSB, the CBS affiliate that covers a small part of its coverage territory in Connecticut.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

WFSB went dark to Altice USA’s Optimum customers in parts of Connecticut on Jan. 13. Altice had complained that the broadcaster, owned by Meredith Corp., was seeking an “outrageous” increase in carriage fees and only served a small portion of its cable footprint.  Altice USA even went as far to offer its eligible Connecticut customers a free week of CBS All Access, the over-the-top offering from the network, while it tried to hammer out a deal.

In a statement, Altice said it was thankful that a deal was reached.

The blackout was lifted just in time for the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship, also known as "March Madness," which kicked off March 16 and is being broadcast on CBS and the Turner Networks.

“We are pleased that WFSB CBS Channel 3 has returned its programming to our Optimum customers in Connecticut, and we sincerely thank our customers for their patience and loyalty as we worked to reach a fair agreement that reflects our commitment to keeping costs down for consumers,” Altice USA said in a statement.

Altice USA noted that it has reached retransmission deals and carriage agreements with more than a dozen programmers and broadcasters over the last few months and added the skyrocketing programming costs, particularly from broadcasters, are the biggest culprit in rising cable bills.

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