Verizon FiOS TV Drops Sportsman Channel

Provider Cites Low Ratings, Efforts To Contain Costs

Verizon FiOS TV told customers today the provider has dropped hunting, fishing and shooting-focused Sportsman Channel. In a message to customers, Verizon said in part: "Each year, the cost of content increases substantially, and in order to prevent those costs from being reflected in your bill, it is sometimes necessary to remove channels from our lineup. We have decided not to renew our contract for Sportsman Channel due to its low viewership, and have discontinued broadcasting it. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause." It pointed customers to alternatives for "similar content" including History, Destination America, Nat Geo Wild and Discovery Channel.

Update: a Sportsman Channel spokesman said in response to the drop that “we don’t publicly discuss details of ongoing negotiations but we hope to resolve this as quickly as possible.”

Sportsman Channel is owned by Outdoor Sportsman Group, which also includes Outdoor Channel and World Fishing Network. It recently announced a new deal for Outdoor Channel on Dish Network. Outdoor Channel and WFN remain on the FiOS lineup, in the provider's $11.99 Sports Pass tier, which used to include Sportsman Channel. Sportsman was in about 33 million homes in August, per Nielsen.