FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 9, 2017
WBOC Reaches New Cable Distribution Agreement
SALISBURY, Md.- Draper Media has reached a new multi-year agreement to continue delivery of WBOC-TV and FOX21 on one of Delmarva’s largest video programming distributors. The agreement secures long-term retransmission of WBOC-TV and FOX21 to more than well over 100,000 homes and businesses in Maryland and Delaware. In addition, the cable company has agreed to launch Draper Media’s newest television station, Spanish-language Telemundo Delmarva, within 30 days. Antenna TV will also continue to be carried on the system.
“We’re pleased that our largest distribution partner here understands and appreciates the value of our local and network programming,” says Craig Jahelka, president, Draper Media. “This new agreement is a reflection that a nationwide video distributor operating locally recognizes our long-standing commitment to serving the people of Delmarva with the highest quality news, information and entertainment. While we are pleased to announce this agreement, it comes at a time when another programming distributor, Verizon FiOS, refuses to recognize the value of our programming and has dropped us from its system in Delaware.”
New York-based Verizon FiOS dropped WBOC-TV and FOX 21 from its channel lineup on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017. Jahelka says negotiations with Verizon FiOS ended unexpectedly and that the station was dropped without warning.
“They stunned us,” says Jahelka. “If we would have known Verizon was going to drop our stations we would have warned our viewers earlier. We have a history of reaching retransmission consent agreements that include fair compensation with other carriers on Delmarva. We’ve done it for years. We did it again today. Regrettably Verizon isn’t willing to be fair, and their customers are the ones who suffer. It’s always disappointing when a conglomerate like Verizon beats up on its local customers to try to pad its bottom line.”
In 2016, global giant Verizon, the parent of Verizon FiOS, reported operating profit of nearly $27 billion. Yet the company claims it can’t afford the programming on WBOC-TV and FOX21.
“I find that rather disingenuous,” says Jahelka.
“The new agreement reached with the largest distributor of programming in our viewing area clearly demonstrates we are able to reach a reasonable and fair agreement,” says Jahelka. “Unfortunately, Verizon FiOS isn’t willing to do the same. There have been no negotiations since Sept. 30. I have personally pleaded with Verizon to come back to the negotiating table so our stations can return to their system. So far, we have heard nothing in response, which combined with today’s announcement should demonstrate Verizon’s intent and total lack of concern for its customers.”
Jahelka is asking all Verizon customers to call Verizon at 1-800-837-4966 and demand they bring back WBOC-TV, FOX21 and WBOC Classics. More information can be found on www.wboc.com.
Draper Media comprises WBOC-TV, FOX21, WBOC Classics, Telemundo 42, and 102.5 WBOC-FM. Draper Media is locally owned and operated by Draper Holdings. Terms of the new agreement with the largest cable company in the viewing area were not disclosed.
Who Is Affected?
Verizon FiOS dropped WBOC-TV, FOX21 and WBOC Classics from its channel lineup in Sussex and Kent Counties in Delaware. This impacts roughly 18,500 subscribers who pay Verizon to receive the same programming we offer free over the air to those who watch our stations with an antenna.
What Does WBOC Think About This?
“We’re shocked and frustrated that Verizon FiOS doesn’t care about their customers who live here on Delmarva,” says Craig Jahelka, President of Draper Media. “What makes it worse is that Verizon is not telling the truth about why it dropped WBOC, FOX21 and Antenna TV. Verizon is making wild claims about our demands for rate increases. While we do not negotiate in public, Verizon’s claims are preposterous and patently false!”
What is true is that Verizon now pays much, much more to carry non-local channels that are watched far less than WBOC and FOX21. Channels that have no local news, no local weather, no local programming, no local emergency information or school closings and no CBS or FOX shows, not to mention NFL football.
Verizon has employed a number of frustrating tactics during the past six months while we have tried to work out a new agreement for the continued carriage of our stations. This huge national company now demonstrates a complete lack of interest in serving their subscribers or local communities here on Delmarva. Regrettably, our viewers who happen to subscribe to Verizon FiOS are the ones who suffer from Verizon’s tactics. We want our stations carried on Verizon and will do whatever we can to make that happen!
We urge you to contact Verizon. Tell them to stop lying to you and to return WBOC, FOX21 and Antenna TV to their channel lineup!
What Can I Do?
Call Verizon at 1-800-837-4966 or visit http://www.verizon.com/support and tell them you want WBOC Programming. Be vocal, share your opinions with https://twitter.com/VerizonSupport and https://www.facebook.com/verizon/.
You can still watch WBOC and FOX programming without Verizon FiOS:
- Free over-the-air using an antenna: https://www.antennasdirect.com
- We stream every newscast live on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WBOCTV16/
- CBS AllAccess (Free 7-Day trial): https://www.cbs.com/all-access/
- FOX Now Live: https://www.fox.com/live/
- Hulu: https://www.hulu.com
- Comcast: 1-800-COMCAST
- DirectTV: 1-800-531-5000
- Dish: 1-888-926-1399