CBS local affiliates rejoin Fubo lineup

CBS local affiliates have rejoined Fubo’s virtual MVPD TV lineup after being pulled from the live streaming TV service earlier this year amid a renewal spat with Paramount Global.

On Friday a Fubo spokesperson said, “virtually all CBS local affiliates have returned to Fubo and are now live.” For a full list of which CBS affiliates are available for Fubo customers see here.  

It marks the latest resolution in a somewhat messy carriage dispute that pitted the CBS affiliate board and its represented local station owners against Paramount Global. CBS has over 200 affiliate stations, owned by broadcasters such as Nexstar Media, Gray Television, Sinclair Broadcast and E.W. Scripps. The CBS affiliate board earlier this year had advised station owners to reject a carriage deal that Paramount negotiated with virtual MVPDs – a recommendation many followed, with local CBS affiliates leaving Fubo’s lineup in February as a result.

Earlier this month, Paramount proposed a new vMVPD deal which the CBS affiliate board endorsed. It recommended station owners opt-in to the agreement, which was said to cover three years and include sports fees and ad inventory units, per NextTV, signaling that the local channels were likely to return to the Fubo service, as well as stay on Paramount+, Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV.  That is now confirmed to be the case for Fubo, with the vMVPD detailing the DMAs currently receiving local ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, CW, Telemundo and Univision. Fubo said that if users are in a market in which their local station isn’t yet carried on the service, then network programming is available via video on-demand or the network’s TV Everywhere apps.

When the new agreement was disclosed, broadcaster Nexstar announced it extended carriage of all 40 of its CBS-affiliated stations on YouTube TV, as well as 29 CW affiliates, over two dozen MyNetworkTV stations and four independent stations under a multi-year deal.

Nexstar, which had local CBS stations pulled from Fubo, has indicated it wants broadcasters to have a more prominent place at the negotiating table when it comes to virtual MVPDs.

“We firmly believe that we should control our own destiny with regard to the virtual MVPDs, instead of allowing the network to negotiate on our behalf,” said Nexstar COO Tom Carter during Nexstar’s fourth quarter earnings call in late February. “Given the lack of regulation in the digital world, it’s important that we remain united as an industry.”

Carter went on to say that Nexstar “will not accept any deals that discount the value of our content our stations deliver to these platforms,” he added, noting that vMVPDs want local news and content because it’s a sought-after category from viewers.