Slossberg and Hundreds of Constituents Call on Cablevision and WFSB to Seek Mediation
FCC has agreed to step in if either party requests assistance in failed negotiations
Hundreds of Cablevision customers from Milford, Orange and Woodbridge have signed a petition started by Senator Gayle Slossberg (D-Milford) calling for an end to the WFSB blackout on Optimum cable. Despite the outpouring of frustration, Cablevision and WFSB have been unable to end their contract dispute, and Slossberg is now calling on them to seek mediation from the Federal Communications Commission, restore service immediately and compensate customers.
“This has gotten completely out of control, and both Cablevision and WFSB should accept that they have failed in their negotiations, and that outside mediation is needed,” said Slossberg. “For months now, people in Milford, Orange and Woodbridge have been paying a full rate for diminished cable service. This needs to stop. Hundreds of people have signed onto my petition, and many more have contacted my office to ask what it going on. They are angry that they have missed sporting events, news and other programming, and that without this local network they have had a more difficult time learning about school closings and weather conditions during recent snowstorms.
“Cablevision and WFSB have not negotiated in good faith, and have failed their customers. If they cannot solve their problems, we need to speak out and shame them into finally doing the right thing.”
Since early this January, the ongoing dispute between Cablevision and WFSB has resulted in a network blackout impacting Milford, Orange and Woodbridge, which are all communities represented by Senator Slossberg. WFSB is the CBS affiliate in Connecticut, and so this network blackout resulted in affected customers being unable to watch football games in the lead up to Super Bowl LI, and now threatens their ability to watch the March Madness college basketball tournament.
Slossberg reached out to the FCC in January, requesting their intervention. The Chairman of the FCC replied that they will only get involved if Cablevision or WFSB request it.
In an effort to increase pressure on Cablevision and WFSB, Slossberg began a petition drive, calling on constituents to join her in voicing their outrage at this continued network blackout.