FCC Urging Resolution To WFXT/FiOS Retrans Impasse

Spokesman Says It Is In Best Interests of Everyone Involved

The Federal Communications Commission is on the same page as Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) when it comes to a Washington take on the retransmission consent impasse between Verizon FiOS and Cox's WFXT Boston: Get 'er done.

The station has been off Verizon's FiOs system there since Thursday morning (Nov. 27), meaning some 400,000 subs could not access Turkey Day football on Fox, among other programming, at least not on FiOS.

Neil Grace, senior communications advisor at the FCC was checking at press time on whether there had been any commission outreach to the parties, which has been the case in some other past disputes, but said in any event the commission is continuing to monitor the situation. But he did say that "we urge the respective parties involved to do what is in the best interest of consumers and viewers, and to reach a retransmission consent agreement as quickly as possible."

The situation is that WFXT has been unavailable to Verizon FiOS customers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island after the two sides could not come to a new carriage deal. Cox says Verizon won't agree to a "fair" deal, while Verizon says asking for "millions" more in retrans fees is unreasonable.

On Monday (Dec. 1), Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), also called for an end to the dispute for the sake of viewers.