UPDATE: Verizon and Tegna reached terms for a new carriage agreement over the weekend and restored access to Tegna's broadcast channels on Fios TV.
Verizon’s standoff with Tegna this week shifted from carriage impasse to channel blackout, affecting Fios TV customers in four markets.
Verizon video subscribers in Buffalo, Harrisburg, and Norfolk are all losing access to the Tegna broadcast channels but the impact be primarily felt in the Washington D.C. market where Tegna operates WUSA, a CBS affiliate station.
Tegna said it had been working for months to reach a fair, market-based agreement with Verizon based on the competitive terms it has used to reach deals with other major providers.
“We even offered Verizon an extension that kept our stations available to viewers through the holiday weekend. We are especially disappointed that Verizon has pulled access at a time when local broadcast stations are a lifeline, connecting people to the news, information, and entertainment they need and want most. We hope that Verizon realizes how important our stations are to their subscribers and works with us to reach a fair agreement,” the broadcaster said in a statement.
Verizon fired back and seemingly referred to Tegna’s other carriage disputes with the operators including Dish Network.
"Unfortunately, Tegna has a reputation for this type of practice with providers, which ultimately results in pulling content from viewers," Verizon said in a statement.
Dish Network said that its current dispute with Tegna, which has nearly 3 million Dish TV satellite customers in 53 markets since October, is about the broadcaster trying to boost its value as it reportedly seeks a sale.
"We made a fair offer to keep Tegna stations available to our customers, but Tegna rejected it, forcing the removal of its channels," said Brian Neylon, group president at Dish TV, in a statement. "Tegna is looking to sell its stations to the highest bidder and is simply trying to exploit Dish customers as a way to get the maximum price and further fatten their wallets."
Dish Network went as far as filing a bad faith complaint with the FCC against Tegna, which the broadcaster called “utterly baseless and without merit.”