U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal is pulling a Donald Trump, using Twitter to demand that WFSB TV-3 and Optimum return to negotiations to place the channel back on Optimum’s cable system. Channel 3’s parent owners pulled the plug on the channel Friday afternoon at 5:00, leaving Optimum customers in Litchfield, Torrington, Goshen, Cornwall, Warren, Morris, Watertown and Thomaston without the CBS affiliated station, the only CBS station on its programming tier. That means fans of the New England Patriots will be shutout of tonight’s AFC playoff game in Foxboro between the Patriots and the Houston Texans, unless a deal can be struck before kick-off.
As is usually the case, both sides are pointing fingers at the other, but what is known, according to the Republican-American newspaper is that Channel 3’s parent company Meredith Corp., is asking for a 285-percent increase in the fee it charges Optimum to carry the station. Meredith Corp. is pointing the finger at Optimum’s new owner Altice, but Altice claimed it was willing to continue negotiations, before the contract expired on Friday.
Channel 3 and Optimum had a similar dispute in 2014, and the station was pulled off the system for two weeks.
As for Blumenthal, he sent out a tweet Friday night: “Calling on @WFSBnews @optimum to put fans&viewers first-stay at the table&continue contract negotiations.”
Some how, however, one thinks the tweet won’t get the coverage that a Trump tweet receives. Meanwhile, fans of the New England Patriots may need to find a good pair of rabbit ears to pull in the signal.