H-A Signs First Telco Retrans Deal


Verizon has struck a retransmission consent agreement with four Hearst-Argyle stations in markets where the telco has gotten franchises for its FiOS video service, H-A's first retrans with a telco video service.

The company is open to other markets if there are future overlaps, says H-A spokesman Tom Campo. Campo would not comment on terms of the deal, but Verizon almost certainly paid something since it needs local stations to be competitive in the multichannel universe with cable and satellite.

The agreement covers WCVB-TV Boston; WBAL-TV Baltimore; WMUR Manchester, N.H.; and WMOR Tampa, Fla., and includes high-definition, possible VOD, and digital multicast channels.

“Popular local video content is essential to the success of program distributors, whether that distribution is over the broadcast airwaves, or via satellite, coaxial cable or fiber-optic lines,” said David Barrett in announcing the deal.

FiOS now offers its video service in competition to cable in some part of seven states: California, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Texas and Virginia.