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Today WFSB-TV, the leading television station in the Hartford / New Haven DMA and the home of CBS in Connecticut began notifying its viewers that Optimum from Altice may drop the station from its lineup on January 13 at 5PM.

Today WFSB-TV, the leading television station in the Hartford / New Haven DMA and the home of CBS in Connecticut began notifying its viewers that Optimum from Altice may drop the station from its lineup on January 13 at 5PM.

The dispute will affect all of Meredith Corporation's stations that are on the Altice Optimum cable system.

By law, cable companies must negotiate in good faith with television stations before dropping the TV stations’ signals. If Optimum from Altice fails to reach an agreement, WFSB's programming, including local news, NCIS, Big Bang Theory, and NFL Playoff Football will not be available on Optimum from Altice systems on January 13th at 5PM. WFSB will still be available over-the-air and from all other cable and satellite companies serving Hartford-New Haven.

“WFSB has been trying for months to get Optimum from Altice to negotiate seriously” said WFSB-TV Vice President / General Manager Klarn DePalma “But after its transaction with Altice, Optimum is now part of one of the world's largest cable giants. Reaching a deal and preventing a blackout is our top priority. We know the vital local news, emergency information, and top-rated sports and entertainment programming we provide are important to Optimum from Altice customers, and we hope Optimum from Altice will make it a priority to reach a deal too.

If you are a Optimum from Altice customer, you can help by calling Optimum from Altice at 1-516-803-2300. Tell Optimum from Altice you want WFSB-TV. If Optimum from Altice drops WFSB, all of our great local news and CBS lineup will still be available from DISH, DIRECTV, and others. WFSB is always available over the air.”

WFSB and its owner, Meredith, stand ready, willing and able to reach a fair deal with Optimum from Altice. Meredith has successfully completed hundreds of carriage agreements without being dropped by cable operators, and there is still time for Optimum from Altice to reach a deal too.

In response to WFSB, Altice USA sent New England One the following statement:

“We want to carry WFSB Channel 3 at a reasonable rate and have already offered them an increase in retransmission fees. However, Meredith Corporation, the media conglomerate that owns CBS affiliate WFSB Channel 3, is threatening to pull its station from our Optimum lineups in Connecticut in an attempt to force us and our customers to pay even more -- an outrageous nearly 300 percent increase in fees for the exact same programming they currently deliver."

They continued "skyrocketing programming costs, particularly those charged by broadcasters, are the greatest contributor to rising cable bills, and we are working hard to keep those costs as low as possible for our customers. This behavior is anti-consumer, and we urge Meredith Corp. to stop the threats and leave WFSB on while we negotiate an agreement that is fair for our Connecticut Optimum customers.”

View full Optimum statement here.

View full WFSB press release here.

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