After a four-month blackout, Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and Tennis Channel have come to an accord that gets the channel back on the operator's FiOS TV platform in time for the Australian Open.
The channel was pulled from Verizon in September, in the middle of the United States Open. The brouhaha started when Tennis Channel and the National Cable Television Cooperative reached a new deal that required pay-TV operators who are part of NCTC, like Verizon, to put Tennis Channel on a digital basic level, or to not carry it at all. Previously, many operators carried the channel on a premium sports tier. Verizon wanted to keep it as a premium offering and refused to budge; that resulted in the black out and in many unhappy tennis aficionados.
Tennis Channel and Verizon reached a new multiyear carriage agreement Tuesday and started rolling out Tennis Channel--with Grand Slam coverage of Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, French Open and the Australian Open, as well as Davis Cup, Fed Cup, and the men's and women's year-end championships--to FiOS TV subscribers in time for its 2012 Australian Open coverage. The channel is now available in the Texas, Florida, California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and upstate New York FiOS TV markets and will be available in all other FiOS markets by Wednesday.
Starting immediately, Tennis Channel is available to FiOS TV customers who subscribe to the FiOS TV Ultimate HD package, as well as the premium Sports Packages. Verizon plans to more widely roll out Tennis Channel next year.
- see this release
Verizon, Cablevision drop Tennis Channel as US Open action begins