About 400,000 Verizon FiOS customers in Massachusetts remained without Fox 25 programming as a standoff between Verizon and Cox Media Group, the new owner of WFXT-TV (Fox 25) continued.
The Fox 25 signal went dark Thanksgiving morning for FiOS customers after the companies failed to reach agreement on the fees Verizon pays Cox to carry the station. Verizon officials say the dispute arose after Atlanta-based Cox acquired control of Fox 25 as part of a station swap with Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox in October.
Cox came to the table with what Verizon called an exceptionally high hike request. The two sides worked with an early morning deadline Thursday to resolve the issue, before a featured National Football League game between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles aired on Fox affiliates.
Unless the issue is resolved over the next day or so, local FiOS subscribers also will miss Sunday’s New Orleans Saints vs. Pittsburgh Steelers game on Fox 25.
These kinds of blackouts have becoming increasingly frequent across the country, and they can last for days or weeks.
“We’re still hopeful that Cox will come back to the negotiating table so that we can reach an agreement that puts significantly less pressure on our consumers’ wallets and bank accounts,” said Terry Denson, Verizon’s vice president of content strategy and acquisition.
Neither side would specify the size of the rate increase sought by Cox. Tom Raponi, the general manager at Fox 25 in Dedham, declined to comment on the negotiations.