Super Bowl blacked out in at least 6 markets due to retrans disputes, ATVA says

Football
Fox has broadcast rights to Super Bowl LI, but fans in at least six markets may miss the big game due to ongoing retrans battles. Image: NFL

The pay-TV-backed American Television Alliance has identified six markets in which FOX affiliates will be blacked out because of retransmission consent battles when the 51st Super Bowl kicks off this Sunday.

Impacted stations include:

  • KAYU-TV in Spokane, Washington, a Northwest Broadcasting station booted off Cable One;
  • WABG-TV in Greenville-Greenwood, Mississippi, another Northwest-owned outlet blacked out on Cable One;
  • WSYT-TV in Syracuse, New York, a Bristlecone station blacked out on Verizon;
  • KTTW-TV, a Sioux Falls, South Dakota, station owned by Independent Communications and blacked out on Mediacom;
  • WEMT-TV, located in the Tennessee-Virginia “Tri-Cities” area and owned by Bonten Media, is blacked out on Dish Network;
  • WFXI-TV of Greenville-New Bern-Washington, North Carolina, another Bonten station blacked out on Dish.

RELATED: Cable One exec: Congress must 'repeal and replace' retrans rules

Fox, of course, has broadcast rights to Super Bowl LI, which will pit the New England Patriots against the Atlanta Falcons. 

“This is unbelievable—a real toilet bowl for fans who may get flushed by broadcasters on Super Bowl Sunday,” said ATVA spokesman Trent Duffy, ramping up the old rhetoric machine. “Broadcasters have a long history of using marquee events to extract higher fees, but to hold hostage one of the most culturally significant events of the year is the most outrageous example of cold hearted callousness and bad faith tactics employed by the broadcasting industry.”

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