Millions of viewers fall victim to yet another Hearst blackout in nearly a dozen television markets

Washington D.C. July 10, 2012 – Fresh off the heels of another broadcaster’s July 4th Week blackout, viewers from coast to coast are now seeing static on local television stations as Hearst Television continues its same old viewer abuse. Are broadcasters aiming to hit every market in the country before they put an end to these anti-consumer tactics?

It’s an all too commonly seen stunt pulled by broadcasters like Hearst; in spite of their own CEO’s recent congressional testimony (just two weeks ago!) where he acknowledged that blackouts are unfair to consumers.

Even with an FCC rulemaking underway, Hearst and other broadcasters continue to pull the plug on viewers unless pay TV providers agree to significantly higher retransmission consent payments. When will broadcasters quit making consumers pay the price?

Until Congress and the FCC reform retransmission consent rules, consumers are at the mercy of broadcasters regardless of what their industry leaders say.

Markets affected by the Hearst Broadcasting blackout on Time Warner Cable: Hawaii; Boston, MA; Portland, ME; Hartford, VT; Plattsburgh, NY; Winston-Salem, NC; Kansas City, MO; Lincoln, NE; Louisville, KY; Cincinnati, OH and Pittsburgh, PA. Stations include ABC, NBC, CBS and CW affiliates.

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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 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.

Media Contact: Shivonne Foster, 202-973-2930

Shivonne.foster@porternovelli.com

 

Comments are closed.

  1. SUE CUTTING

    TO BLOCK OUT ABC IS CRIMINAL. THAT IS THE MOST POPULAR CHANNEL!!! WE ALREADY PAY TO MUCH FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF CABLE AND CAN NOT WATCH TV ANY OTHER WAY. I FEEL ALL OF YOU PEOPLE HAVE JUST GOTTEN WAY TOO GREEDY. YOU ARE ONLY GOING TO HURT SUBSCRIBERS AND ABC’S VIEWING PUBIC AND RATINGS. WE HAVE ALREADY LOST A LOT OF GOOD SHOWS ON ABC, I GUESS HEARST JUST WANTS TO DUMP ABC ALL TOGETHER AND THIS IS THEIR WAY TO DO IT. THE ONLY ONES THIS HELPS IS THE CEOS, THEY JUST GET MUCH RICHER

  2. Michael Dugan

    It’s time to prosecute ALL these companies involved in Blackouts under anti-trust statutes or whatever fits. time and again the only people hurt during these actions are the citizens in the community dependent on cable for news and community information. Some of us in remote areas don’t have much choice but to use cable since the new HD signals don’t reach our house. If they can’t reach an agreement, then split up both companies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Julia Binkley

    I blame both Time Warner Cable and Hearst Television. The cable companies should inform consumers of pending contracts, by giving consumers a survey, the results from the survey will inform both companies exactly what consumers want and expect.
    Negotiation’s can procedure from there. If a survey was offered, with information presented telling me of the possibility of losing the NBC channel, I would had said get rid of Hearst Television. NOW- since being notified at the last minute, I want to get rid of my cable company too. I will be contacting Congress.

  4. Cindy

    This is enough!!!! I pay $180 a month for my cable service and now can’t see ABC.
    Not sure who is at fault here the cable company (TWC) or Hearst.
    However this hast to stop in today enviorment where most folks have lost jobs, to have to pay this amount just to watch what was FREE tv a few years ago is insane. Don’t like Federal intervention in business but in this case the FED’s need to step in and set fair rates or do away with the Cable business all together.

  5. Gary

    Last time I watched ABC they still had commercials do they not charge for that anymore? If we are the ones paying to broadcast ABC do away with the commercials then. Never mind, do away with Hurst they seem to have it backwards. If I understand this right it’s Hurst wanting to raise the amount they charge to the cable and satellite companies by 300% that caused this problem. They don’t seem to care about who can watch their channels, it should be their loss not ours.

  6. Scott Sebastian

    The argument can be made on both sides. In other words, Hearst would say that all they are seeking is fair compensation that they are receiving from other cable companies and satelite providers. Is this true? We don’t know since none of us know how much Hearst is recieving in retransmission fees versus other broadcasters.

    But one thing is very true. The consumer ultimately loses in this scenario whether its the fault of the broadcaster or the cable and/or satelite provider. And it is clear that new regulations should be passed to protect the consumer! Meanwhile, customers who are in range of broadcast stations should use an antenna as a backup. It is free outside of the cost to purchase an antenna. Many local affiliates can be picked up over the air for free, particularly for viewers who are not in distant rural areas.

    I would also like to see legislation passed that breaks up the so called television viewing markets. Viewers should at least have access to neighboring network affilates who are also located in their home states. These laws that have created these manmade barriers, marked by county lines are ridiculous. And in the so called information age, these types of rules are crazy.

  7. patty service

    I would rather pay for local channels than a HBO, SHOWTIME.ETC. I pay dearly now for channels that have the same movies over and over again.