The blackout of WFSB Channel 3 for customers of Optimum from Altice in Litchfield, Warren, Morris, Goshen and four other Litchfield County communities came to an end Friday, in time for sports fans to watch NCAA tournament games.
WFSB and Optimum ended the nine-week-old blackout by reaching a retransmission consent agreement outlining how Optimum pays to retransmit WFSB’s signal. In addition to Litchfield, Warren, Morris and Goshen, the blackout affected Torrington, Cornwall, Thomaston and Watertown, as well as Woodbridge, Orange and Milford in New Haven County.
“We are pleased that WFSB CBS Channel 3 has returned its programming to our Optimum customers in Connecticut, and we sincerely thank our customers for their patience and loyalty as we worked to reach a fair agreement that reflects our commitment to keeping costs down for consumers,” Optimum said in a statement Friday.
Optimum went on to say: “Skyrocketing programming costs, particularly those charged by broadcasters, are the greatest contributor to rising cable bills,” Optimum said. “With broadcasters having content available for free over the internet, and over the air via an antenna, the company is working to keep retransmission costs down for our customers.”
Terms of the new agreement were not disclosed. WFSB had been seeking an increase in the retransmission fee of more than 100 percent. The demand for the increase led to an impasse in negotiations and the eventual blackout.