Retrans battle leaves 400K FiOS subs in Boston and Rhode Island without Fox

Cox Media Group pulled Fox affiliate WFXT-TV off Verizon FiOS (NYSE: VZon Thanksgiving amid an impasse on retrans renewal negotiations, leaving 400,000 of the pay-TV operator's customers in Boston and Rhode Island without NFL Football and other Fox programming.

"Over the past seven years we always enjoyed a good relationship with the previous owners, securing agreements without even the hint of removing the channel," Verizon said in a statement. "Unfortunately, Cox is now threatening to remove these channel(s) from the FiOS TV lineup over its demands for millions of dollars more in fees, something they have done in other markets."

Responded WFXT: "By law, Fox 25 must negotiate carriage agreements with cable companies like Verizon FiOS. Usually, these deals are reached without any disruption to your service. In fact, our company has negotiated dozens of agreements with only the rarest of disruptions. Unfortunately, so far, Verizon FiOS has refused to reach a fair, market-based deal to carry Fox 25."

Cox purchased the Boston-based affiliate in June and has been on an aggressive push to renegotiate the channel's retrans licenses.

For more:
- read this Deadline Hollywood story
- read this Boston Globe story

Related links:
CBS and Dish still talking, sign another extension agreement
CBS gives 'short term extension' to Dish; satellite operator now in showdown with Comcast Sports, too
Dish sees third carriage tiff heat up as four more Comcast RSNs threaten to go dark
Dish, Turner forge extension; restores CNN, averts TNT, TBS blackouts
Two front war for Dish: TNT and TBS set to go dark Dec. 5
With Ergen, Turner finds out it's better to be lucky than a good longtime programming partner
Turner says it's disappointed, bewildered by Dish assault
Ergen: OTT service on track for this year, Turner channels may not come to Dish

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