Verizon FiOS customers are facing the possibility of losing access to two of the country’s biggest TV networks. Negotiations between Verizon and local affiliates of Fox and NBC have broken down, leaving FiOS users at risk for not having access to Fox and NBC starting tomorrow. Here are some important details to know about this potential blackout.
What’s at Stake in the Verizon Contract Negotiations?
The dispute centers on the fees that cable and satellite distributors must pay the local broadcast affiliates to allow them to retransmit the signals. The affiliates are looking to increase the fees, while Verizon is fighting to keep them at existing levels. It’s unclear when or if an agreement will be reached.
What Content Will Be Affected?
If negotiations fail, Verizon FiOS customers will lose access to local stations owned by Fox, NBC and other companies, including Univision and Telemundo. That could mean you miss out on the season premieres of some of your favorite shows and special news coverage from those networks.
What Could Happen Tomorrow?
At midnight on October 4, if no new deal is reached, Verizon’s agreements for retransmitting Fox and NBC signals will end. Verizon won’t be allowed to show any programs from networks owned by Fox and NBC that day, and that includes shows like Empire, The Voice and The Good Place.
Will Customers Be Notified If the Blackout Happens?
If the blackout occurs, Verizon says that it will notify its customers as soon as possible. It’s also possible that some local NBC and Fox affiliates may negotiate independent agreements with the cable giant, so some customers may not be affected.
What Can Verizon FiOS Customers Do?
The impact to customers will depend on the market where they live and which channels they subscribe to. A potential blackout could even be limited to some stations or channels so it’s worth considering alternatives like free over-the-air antennas or streaming services like YouTube TV and Hulu with Live TV.
Verizon FiOS customers may also want to contact the stations’ parent companies directly. Send an email or even pick up the phone to let them know that you don’t want to miss out on any programming.
If negotiations fail, a significant portion of the nation’s largest cable and satellite companies, including Verizon FiOS, could lose access to Fox and NBC tomorrow at midnight. Customers should investigate alternative ways to view programming like using an antenna or streaming services. With any luck, a last-minute deal will be made, but if not, customers should be prepared for a potential blackout.