Cox Media Group pulled Fox affiliate WFXT-TV off Verizon FiOS (NYSE: VZ) on 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.
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