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An open letter to Newport Television

This is a copy of an email that I just sent to Newport Television, owners of WXXA-FOX23

Please forward to Michael DiPasquale, Vice-President/Asst. General Counsel at Newport Television

Dear Mr. DiPasquale,

I am a Verizon FiOS subscriber in the Albany, NY area.  I have noticed that you have pulled WXXA-FOX23 from Verizon FiOS TV because your carriage agreement expired on January 12, 2012.  My understanding of this is that your company, Newport Television, and Verizon could not come to an agreement over the rates.

As someone who watches WXXA, I am one of your customers.  As such, I would like to share my opinion.  I don’t know the details of your carriage rate negotiations, but I think you should settle with Verizon. 

I don’t want to pay more for a channel that I can get over the air (OTA).  The FOX network programming that I watch is mostly available via the FiOS Video On Demand (VOD) service.  I won’t get to see the show when it airs, but I’ll see it within a week.  And it will be commercial free.  I like my DVR, I watch TV on my schedule. 

With your channel being OTA only, the only time I’m going to watch it is going to be for sports. I liked watching the FOX23 news, that was one of the few shows you had my attention through commercials.  And that was the same for FOX sports.  I can put up with the annoyance of switching to the OTA signal for the sports, but for the rest of your coverage, I’ll just skip it.

FiOS coverage is still small in the Albany area, but the areas with FiOS availability tend to be the higher income areas.  We are the people that your advertisers want to reach.  You have better access to the subscriber numbers, but I would expect that you are no longer available in 10,000 household in middle to upper middle class neighborhoods in this area.  If I were an advertiser with you, I would be negotiating for a lower rate on commercial air time.

I don’t know the detail of your negotiations with Verizon, but if you are asking for a higher rate, I really think that you should reconsider your terms.  I don’t know the state of the local economy is in Kansas City, MO; but it’s not that great here.  Please consider this during your negotiations with Verizon FiOS.

sincerely,
Chris Miller
Slingerlands, NY