WFSB, Cablevison extend talks as storm approaches

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Fairfield County fans of WFSB Channel 3, the CBS affiliate in Hartford, shown Cablevision Systems’ Optimum TV, have a reprieve before the service is cut off, albeit a short one.
Talks between representatives of Cablevision and WFSB had stalled leading up to an agreement that had been set to expire tonight at midnight.
“Cablevision and the owners of WFSB Channel 3 have agreed to an extension of their retransmission agreement until 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 3, while the companies continue to negotiate,” said Cablevision spokeswoman Kelly McAndrew, in a prepared statement.
In a separate release, WFSB said the contract has been extended to Friday due to the upcoming winter storm expected to hit the northeast Thursday into Friday. The television station said the extension was approved to make sure Connecticut residents are receiving vital weather updates and information.
If the contract expires, by law, Cablevision OptimumTV will no longer have the right to carry WFSB copyrighted programming, according to WFSB.
“Please know that we have tried very hard to reach an agreement with Cablevision, so that our viewers would not have to miss any of our station’s around-the-clock reporting of news, politics, traffic, weather emergencies, public service announcements, and favorite local and national programming,” said WFSB in its release. “If Cablevision OptimumTV removes our signal, you will miss CBS programs like the AFC playoffs with the New England Patriots and other NFL games; CSI Miami, the Mentalist, Two And A Half Men, Big Bang Theory and 60 Minutes.”
Cablevision has said that CBS network programming is carried on WCBS television, which it also carries in Fairfield County.
McAndrew said now that the NFL regular season is over she expects the Patriots playoff games to be carried nationally by CBS.
“We are disappointed in the outcome of our negotiations, especially since we have successfully reached agreements with every major cable and satellite company that recognizes our fair market value,” WFSB said in its release. “The fact is that we are only asking Cablevision OptimumTV for pennies a day from your cable bill for our programming.”
WFSB said it will continue to negotiate with Cablevision.

Categories: General

17 Responses

  1. Rob says:

    I honestly don’t know. WCBS is bundled into a contract that includes other CBS channels such as Showtime. WVIT (Ch 30) is owned by NBC Universal which also owns WNBC so they are under the same contract.

  2. Kevin says:

    OK Rob just so I understand this. Do any of the CT stations get paid to be in Fairfield County and do any of the NY stations get paid to be in CT? If WCBS is getting paid in NH then it is only fair the WFSB is getting paid in Fairfield. I may start taking Cablevisions side now.

  3. Rob says:

    I don’t work for Cablevision, but I know the FCC broadcast rules. It’s fairly simple, Fairfield County is part of the New York DMA and only entitled to receive NY stations. The rest of CT is in the Hartford DMA and only entitled to receive Hartford stations. Cablevision has been allowed in the past to carry both the NY and CT stations on their CT systems because the other affiliates did not object. That all changed a year and a half ago when the FOX, MY and CW affiliates used the exclusive market territory rules to get them to remove the out of market station. IF WCBS didn’t want Cablevision to carry WFSB in Fairfield County (as you claim) they can do it at any time, they didn’t have to wait for the contract to end. WFSB has done that during this dispute, not only did they remove their signal, they made Cablevision also remove WCBS from the New Haven County systems. WCBS was not carried on the Litchfield system. Cablevision’s position is they have no problem paying WFSB’s asking price for the systems that are in the Hartford DMA, but they aren’t paying to carry WFSB out of market.

  4. Kevin says:

    Rob, you make no sense at all, you must work for Chuck Dolan. “The fact of the matter is WFSB does not have the right to force Cablevision to pay to carry the station in Fairfield County which is not part of their DMA.” Why doesn’t this apply? “The fact of the matter is WCBS does not have the right to force Cablevision to pay to carry the station in NEW HAVEN COUNTY which is not a part of their DMA.” You are talking out of both sides of your mouth like Cablevision. The NY stations & sports teams want to dicate where they are to be shown. You know as well as I do that when Cablevision sign up with WCBS they promised removal of WFSB on the next go around so they paid extra to the garbage ch 2 at our expense. Why can NY stations be braodcast to the north & east of NH but CT channels are not allowed in CT? You are afraid to answer that just like Cablevision is. WFSB should get paid the same as WCBS considering they cover a way lot more.

  5. Rob says:

    It doesn’t matter what WCBS does or doesn’t cover. The fact of the matter is WFSB does not have the right to force Cablevision to pay to carry the station in Fairfield County which is not part of their DMA. In fact WCBS could force Cablevision to remove it even if Cablevision agreed to pay for it. WFSB should just keep quiet and accept the extra eyeballs they are getting that they are not legally entitled to get. I bet Fox 61 is kicking themselves for doing what they did. For the few extra Cablevision eyeballs the got in New Haven County they lost 5 times as many Fairfield County viewers.

    No you bill didn’t go down 10 cents when the other two stations were dropped but your bill also doesn’t go up instantly every time they add a new channel.

    You can say what you want about News 12 but neither the NY nor Hartford stations do a good job covering Fairfield County, and News 12 had the Governor’s press conference.

  6. Kevin says:

    But Rob, please answer the question, what does WCBS-2 do for this area? I just watched their crappy noon news and NOTHING about Bridgeport. Ch 3 had the governor’s press conference on but nothing on 2. They have no problems covering Fat Christie’s news conferences but not Malloy’s. Besides that who in their right mind would want to watch the Jets in New England? Both stations are unique in their own ways. The way Cablevision is talking, they over paid ch 2 and promised them exclusivity when ch 3′s contract expired. Answer this too since you know so much, when FOX-61 & CW-20 were removed, how much did out bills go down? Cablevision wants to say ch 3 is raising your bill but 20 & 61 lowered it but the savings were not passed on. You know as well as I do that Cablevision wants everyone watching their college TV station News 12 and will do everything they can to eliminate the competition.

  7. Rob says:

    The reason Fox 61 was removed from Cablevision was because Fox 61 made Cablevision take Fox 5 off of their non Fairfield County systems using the exclusive market territory rule. So Fox 5 retaliated and made Cablevision remove Fox 61 from its Fairfield County systems using the same rule. Fairfield County is in the NY DMA so we are not entitled to receive any Hartford stations, but have been allowed to by the NY stations. If you had Direct TV or Dish, you would not get any Hartford stations, just NY.

    The WFSB dispute is a pure money one as Cablevision doesn’t want to pay them since they already pay WCBS.

    Since WTNH can be picked up by an antenna here

  8. Kevin says:

    Yes the line should be from Westport/Fairfield to Woodbridge. When UCONN is in March Madness ch 2 always carries a game from Phila or Syracuse which serves no purpose in this area. I want to know why Cablevision allows both NY & Phila stations in NJ but is forcing the CT stations out of CT. The NY stations want to say Bridgeport is in their area but they never come here. I remember growing up in the 60′s and always wondering why there was a big fire in Bridgeport and ch 2 never covered it but would cover similar stories in NJ/LI.

  9. Mayor McCheese says:

    I’m not sure where one would place the dividing line – perhaps somewhere near the Fairfield/Bridgeport line and north of New Canaan, but for those of us who live in the NY Metro area of CT, the CT stations are completely irrelevant.

    I live in Stamford and most people I know who don’t work in Stamford, Greenwich or Norwalk, work in Manhattan (which is most of the peoople I know). Most people I know are NY area sports fans and I don’t know anyone who seriously follows UCONN sports. We care about Metro North and I-95 and the Merrit. It matters to us who the Mayor of NYC is and his policies sice many of us spend a ot of time there each week and earn our money there.

    News 12 isn’t great by any streatch, but it is far more relevant to a person living in Lower Fairfield County then any of the Connecticut stations from Hartford and New Haven.

    And yes, there are a lot of stories in the New York news media that take place in Stamford. At least as much as some of the outlying areas of New Jersey and Long Island. In addition to the NY TV stations, Newsradio 88 (WCBS AM)covers the area very well.

  10. Kevin says:

    Thanks Mayor, as you can see we have different views and opinions here and ch 2,4,5,7,9,11,12 & 13 do nothing for the Fairfield-Woodbrodge area and that is why we need CT stations that cover this area. But honestly how often do you see CBS-2 covering a story in Stamford? Cablevision deleted FOX-61 which takes 1 NFL game a week away from us and also does not allow a local team like the Red Sox on MLB’s Saturday regional coverage. Deleting 3 would also delete an NFL game a week here. Everybody is not a NJ Jet & Giant fan here nor is everyone a NY fan here in this part.

  11. Mayor McCheese says:

    In fact I do not work for Cablevision. I live in Stamford but I guesss if I lived in Bridgeport I might feel differently since Bpt is closert to the rest of CT and is outside of the NYC metro area for the most part.

  12. Kevin says:

    TO TV Grinch: You are absolutely correct. 61 ran a QUALITY STATE news, weather and sports cast at 10:00 PM opposite News 12 and Cablevision did not like it, they also carry the lottery drawings and Cablevision wants an exclusive on the 10:00 hour and lottery. Why isn’t Blomenthual and the AG investigating Cablevision for anti-trust violations? Besides that, who in their right mind would want to watch the Jets when you get a quality local team with the Patriots.

  13. Kevin says:

    Oviously the Mayor works for Cablevision (by his name) and is just promoting News 12, they are tied for last place with the NY stations as for new coverage in Bridgeport.

  14. Mayor McCheese says:

    Who cares? Most people in Fairfield County who watch CBS programming watch it on WCBS from NYC. WFSB is a joke by comparison. Whenever I watch the weather on Channel 3, the weatherman always stands with his body covering up lower Farfiield County and shows the weather in small towns all over The state but nothing in the NY metro area. Most of ther news stories are not relevant to lower Fairfield County. Even though we are the most populated and fastest growing part of the state, small villiges in Tolland county seem more interested to their news producers. Didn’t see any coverage of our balloon parade for example. They are also obsessed with UCOnn spots which no one cares about down here’s. Same goes for Channel 8. Let them go. Save your pennies. No one will care. If I want local weather, I’m much more likely to watch Channel 12 than channel 3.

  15. TV Grinch says:

    Fox61 no longer carried, now WFSB? Anyone thinking that Cablevision is just eliminating competition to their News12?

  16. Kevin says:

    Just another ploy by Cablevision. Cablevision’s goal is the have Fairfield Country free of CT channels. Who cares about ch 2, when do they cover Bridgeport???? Who cares about the Jets. Seems like the sucess of the Red Sox cost the Patriots coverage in CT. Cablevision is totally missing the point, the NY channels do not care or cover FFLD County and Cablevision knows that and has admitted it, but they want News crap 12 to have an exclusive on the news. Cablevision deleted FOX & CW in CT and now CBS, how soon will ABC & NBC be deleted. Why does Cablevision cover BOTH the NY & Phila affiliates in their NJ systems but wont cover NY & CT in CT??? Why wont they answer that question?

  17. Veritas says:

    Again,the issue is not loss of CBS Network programming.
    We do get that from WCBS-2.
    The issue is loss of coverage of the State Capitol from Hartford on WFSB-3.