It is now two weeks since Optimum customers have been without WFSB-TV 3, the channel yanked off the system by the station’s parent-owner Meredith Corporation. Optimum’s parent company Altice alleges that Meridith wants to raise what it charges Optimum to carry the channel by 295 percent. Altice wants to carry the only CBS affiliate on its system, while negotiations continue, but Meredith refuses. So as the stalemate continues, many of Optimum’s western Connecticut customers are fuming, already having missed the New England Patriots two playoff games.
Meanwhile, consumer Senator Richard Blumenthal, other than one tweet on the subject, has been quieter than a station logo on a TV screen. At the state level, House Minority Leader Themis Klarides expressed dismay in a news release, claiming many of her constituents have complained about the blackout. Although she is urging a resolution to the dispute by both sides, she insists there’s not much that can be done at the state level, calling it an FCC matter.
As for Stephen Simonin, chairman of the Cable Television Advisory Council, he’s had enough and is considering emailing the President, as in the President of the United States. Simonin has even gone so far as to ask several stalwart Democrats, including Blumenthal, how to get President Trump involved.
“Can someone please send me a direct path to President Trump?” Simonin wrote in an email to Blumenthal and others. “This could make him a hero of the people.”
It’s doubtful Blumenthal or the other Democrats want to make Trump a hero, so Simonin might need another angle to reach Trump, but if he does, it might be a story even Channel 3 will cover, may be even for Optimum customers.