Feb. 11--Miami's Fox Network affiliate, WSVN, has returned to AT&T's U-verse lineup following a dispute that kept the channel blacked out to U-verse subscribers since Jan. 16, AT&T said.
AT&T spokeswoman Kelly Starling said Wednesday afternoon that the channel is available again to subscribers in Broward and Miami-Dade counties.
Terms of the settlement agreement were not disclosed. The standard length of retransmission consent agreements is three years.
"We appreciate our customers' patience while we sought to resolve this matter as quickly as possible," Starling said in an email statement.
The channel went dark just after midnight on Jan. 16 -- a day before Fox broadcast an NFC divisional playoff game between the Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks.
The outage forced viewers to find alternative ways to watch the game. Some hooked up an antenna to their TVs and watched over the air. Others with qualifying packages were able to watch it on a Fox Spanish language sports channel. Still others found ways to watch it online.
The following Sunday's NFC championship game between Carolina and the Arizona Cardinals was also blacked out, as were the first four episodes of Fox's six-episode revival of the 1990s science fiction hit The X-Files.
Both sides pointed at the other as bearing the blame for the blackout. AT&T said WSVN sought a "significant increase in their current fees that we believe is unreasonable."
Chris Wayland, general manager of WSVN parent company Sunbeam Television, countered that AT&T was "refusing to pay the established market rate to retransmit our signal."
Wayland wasn't immediately available for comment Wednesday.
AT&T said last month that hundreds of thousands of subscribers were affected by the blackout.
The impasse bled into the "sweeps" period -- a roughly four-week period when viewing habits are measured to set advertising rates. Historically, sweeps weeks are when networks broadcast their best material. This year's sweeps period runs Feb. 4 to March 2, accordding to ratings company Nielsen.
(c)2016 the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Visit the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) at www.sun-sentinel.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
© Tribune Content Agency, source Regional News