Photo of Senator Slossberg.

State Senator

Gayle Slossberg

Representing Milford, Orange, West Haven & Woodbridge

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Senator Slossberg’s Capitol Corner: WFSB Blackout

A monthly column in the Orange Times

Many of you have called me in the last few weeks to express your very reasonable frustration that WFSB Channel 3 is blacked out for all Optimum Cable customers. I have contacted the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and called on them to intervene in the contract dispute that has caused Optimum to stop airing WFSB, the CBS affiliate in Connecticut. The FCC has the ability and responsibility to intervene in situations like this, but have failed to do so.

The WFSB blackout prevented Optimum customers from watching local news and CBS programming, including the last few games of the NFL playoffs. March Madness, which also airs on CBS, is just around the corner. Connecticut residents love our sports, but particularly college basketball. This continued blackout threatens to keep Connecticut in the dark during March Madness.

More importantly, our recent snowstorm has reminded many people that the WFSB blackout is posing a serious safety risk. I had one Optimum customer contact my office recently to complain that with WFSB off the air he was not able to see local weather or school cancellations. This is important information which helps families ensure the safety of their children and make plans with their jobs to deal with any delays or cancellations. It is simply irresponsible of Optimum, WFSB and the FCC to allow this to continue.

The dispute between Altice and WFSB has not been negotiated in good faith. Their fumbled negotiations are now punishing customers, and it needs to stop. I promise to keep up the pressure on this issue until it is resolved, and I encourage all of you to do the same. I am currently collecting signatures on a petition to stop this blackout, and encourage you to sign on by going to this web address: bit.ly/SlossbergNFLSurvey.

I will keep you updated as this situation progresses and will provide any new information as I receive it. Please do not hesitate to contact my office if you have any concerns about this or similar issues. I am always on your side and want to help fight for you in any way I can.

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