Monday, December 1, 2014

Fox Blacked Out On FIOS In RI Over Thanksgiving ... Heartless

While CBS and Dish agreed to an extension so as to not ruin their Thanksgiving break, Verizon FIOS and their Rhode Island Fox affiliate could not.  The result, the station " went dark to the telco’s customers at 3 a.m. on Thanksgiving after the parties failed to reach a renewal accord. That meant that some 400,000 FiOS customers missed the Dallas Cowboys’ Turkey Day turkey against the Philadelphia Eagles and may be without Fox’s NFL lineup on Sunday. "  And while we all know that eventually the two sides will sign a contract, causing license fees to rise and ultimately, customer subscription fees as well, current subscribers are simply on the lose-lose side of the negotiation and the outcome.

According to Cynopsis, "Fox led all Thanksgiving NFL telecasts with 32.0 million viewers for Eagles-Cowboys in the late afternoon window, marking it the network’s best regular-season telecast of any kind since 1998".   Given that 400,000 households couldn't watch the game, that number could have potentially been higher.  

According to reports, it was the Fox station owner, Cox Media Group, that chose to black out the signal to FIOS, a move that does little to help their negotiation, especially when done over a national holiday.  That neither side could find any sense of humanity to delay such a move, especially when no work would be done over this particular long weekend, should cause outrage across Rhode Island, if not nationally.  In fact, it was a heartless move.  For CBS and Dish, they may still move ahead to a blackout to push their negotiation stance, but at least they put the holiday and their viewers ahead of commerce.  

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