Washington, D.C. December 16, 2010 Broadcasters are threatening to blackout millions of viewers across the nation beginning New Year’s Day as retransmission agreements between local network affiliate stations and pay-TV providers expire.  Given Congressional concern and the FCC’s recent announcement that it will begin a rulemaking in early 2011 to protect consumers during retransmission consent negotiations, the undersigned call on the broadcasters to declare a moratorium this holiday season on viewer blackouts.

Unless action is taken, viewers could experience blackouts in numerous markets, including Albuquerque/Santa Fe, Baltimore, Biloxi-Gulfport (MS), Birmingham, Boston, Buffalo, Burlington (VT) /Plattsburgh (NY), Cape Girardeau (MO) Charleston (WV and SC), Cincinnati, Columbus (OH), Dayton (OH), Des Moines-Ames, Eugene (OR), Fort Smith (AR), Greensboro/Winston Salem,  Harrisburg/Lancaster (PA),  Greenville/Spartanburg/Asheville, Honolulu, Jackson (MS), Kansas City, Klamath Falls (OR), Lexington (KY), Louisville (KY), Macon (GA), Milwaukee, Medford (OR), Monterey/Salinas (CA), New Orleans, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Orlando/Daytona, Pensacola/Mobile, Pittsburgh, Portland/Auburn (ME), Raleigh, Rochester (NY),  Sacramento/Stockton, San Antonio, Syracuse, Tallahassee, Tampa/St. Petersburg and West Palm Beach/Fort Pierce (FL).

American Television Alliance

Consumer Action

LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens)

National Black Caucus of State Legislators

National Consumers League

National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce

National Urban League

New America Foundation

Public Knowledge

Rainbow PUSH Coalition

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  1. Joseph P. Gallagher

    I thought only Politians were allowed to show their open and notorious disregard for the public. Chambers has joined the ranks of the least liked. How does it feel?

  2. Stephen Reid

    Every so often each TV network, including local channels, must renew their license. Part of that renewal, the FCC requires the applicant to broadcast as a “public service”. The FCC does not delineate whether the broadcast is transmitted is over the air or by digital means. If its free transmitted over the air, it should be free through cable, satellite or cable.

  3. Art Swanson

    This is not only very annoying, but is also getting expensive as we pay for service calls and additional equipment to try to pick up cancelled stations by digital antenna. Last year it was CBS. This year it’s ABC. What ever happened to old fashioned customer service?

  4. s lee

    I think that customers should not be blacked out while companies negotiate.

    We pay our bills for sattelite service in good faith.. Brodcasting companies should not hold us hostage..I actually remember when TV like ABC was free, & made their money on advertising..

  5. AJ Barney

    I’m very dissapointed iin this process, and with the loss of KTVL.
    I live outside the Rogue Valley in a rural community, and Sattelite is my only source of TV. I very much miss seeing Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune.
    I see this as a double dipping tactic, with Chambers gathering advertising $ from our local businesses, and now gathering extra $ from the folks that are the customers of those businesses, diluting the monies that those businesses need to carry on.
    As an employee a local large retail business, my recommendation to our advertising office is to cut off the relationship with Chambers communications until such time as the viewership is restored.

  6. jason easley

    Wow, imagine if every aspect of our lives were handled the way things are being handled with our programming. We work we pay we are the ones getting screwed.

  7. Allan Schmidt

    Why don’t they watch thier channel and see what is going on in the country today.

  8. David Thomas

    First it was Fisher Broadcasting and now Chambers Communications. Why do they think they can hold customers hostage in these lean times? I know I will never advertise through either one of these media and will encourage others to do the same. They have built these large networks of stations and other media and you are exactly right! They attempt to bully everyone into paying there rates and marching to their agenda. What ever happened to true customer service. I understand they need to make a profit to stay in business, however, they seem to go to the extreme and become greedy and overzealous in there tactics.

  9. Roger Lamoureux

    Greedy People!!!!

  10. S Igou

    I feel that it is wrong for the viewers to be denied access to the channels that they are paying for. The broadcasters and service provders need to stop their petty arguments over pricing. Come to an agreement and give us back our local channel and news !!!!!

  11. Katie

    Give us back our ABC……We PAY FOR IT !!!!!!

  12. sandra cannon

    how much money do they need to make? Enough is enough. Let’s stop the big-shot companies from making so much money, that they don’t care about the little people. We have the right to watch tv and the stations that are available to us. Where do they get off, on saying what channels we can watch or not watch, just because they want a ton of money, which is crazy, the amount they want. So, get the channel from some other satellite or someting and be done with them. Enough Already.

  13. Jeffrey Carpenter

    This behavior by Chambers Communications is over-the-top unjust. I’m sure you advertisers are chokingly aware the we SW Oregon viewers aren’t seeing any of your offerings this Christmas season, just as we’re feeling more flush and ready to spend.

    Please use your influence with Chambers to wake them up!

  14. DENNIS NUNN

    Please maintain programing during negotiations.This current method is a form of blackmail.

  15. Lori Furlong

    Stop the blackouts. How stupid is this!

  16. Teresa Courtois

    Stop the Broadcaster Blackouts!! This is NOT fair…

  17. Elaine McFarlane

    This is the 2nd time that we have been denied access to a network because of failed negotiations between a network and our dish provider. (Both times it came just prior to the broadcast of the NBA championships.)

    Are there FCC regulations that prevent this type of communication block to occur? I am appalled that a network owner can impose a blackout of its programming to consumers.

    My understanding is that Chambers Communication is asking for what I would consider an unreasonable hike in its rates to Dish Network. Please pursue and correct this misuse of power.