Hearst Television Blacks Out Orlando and New Orleans as Most Powerful Storm In History Approaches Coast

Broadcaster Puts Profits Before Public Safety
Tens of Thousands of COX Customers Left in the Dark as Hurricane Irma Draws Near

Washington, D.C. – With the strongest Atlantic storm in history barreling towards the southern United States, Hearst Television today took down its signal from residents in the storm’s path in Orlando, FL and New Orleans, LA.  The American Television Alliance (ATVA) condemned Hearst Television for threatening public safety amid a state of emergency and profiteering from a natural disaster.  This is the third time Hearst Television has blacked out consumers in Orlando and New Orleans this year.

“Hearst is putting profits before public safety.  This massive television blackout demonstrates a blatant disregard for the obligations broadcasters have to the local communities they serve,” said Trent Duffy, ATVA spokesman.  “The American Television Alliance condemns this outrageous consumer blackout that jeopardizes public safety.  When the skies are clear we hear broadcasters tout their commitment to local communities, yet today, they are blacking out consumers during a time of emergency.  We demand that Hearst Television immediately end its blackout and restore its signals to all of its viewers affected by Hurricane Irma.”

###

The American Television Alliance (ATVA) brings together an unprecedented coalition of consumer groups, cable, satellite, telephone companies, and independent programmers to raise awareness about the risk TV viewers face as broadcasters increasingly threaten service disruptions that would deny viewers access to the programs they and their families enjoy.

For more information about ATVA, visit our website. Follow us on Twitter @ATVAlliance.