Klarides said that she has received complaints and questions from constituents who are angry that they continue to pay the same fees for programming but have had their service diminished since Optimum, Altice’s corporate parent, removed channels 2 (WCBS) and 3 (WFSB) from their lineup.
“Unfortunately the dispute continues between the two entities and customers suffer while they argue over broadcast rights fees,’’ Klarides said. “I would urge the companies to come to some equitable agreement and to do it soon.’’
The blackout has lasted since Jan. 13.WFSB refused to make the recent AFC Championship football game between the New England Patriots and Pittsburg Steelers available, further angering customers.
Klarides said that there was little that can be done a state level because they are private entities that are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission. Altice USA claims that WFSB/Meredith is demanding exorbitantly high fees, a charge that the company denies.
“I think it is incumbent upon the FCC to get involved as this stalemate has already lasted two weeks. It is the federal regulators’ job to settle this to avoid a prolonged dispute,’’ Klarides said