Community Forum

Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

jillcam2969
Regular Visitor

Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

I was just informed that as of Dec 22nd, we will not have access to Channel 5 -WCVB and will be switched to WLNE ABC 6 in Providence.  This is absolutely crazy!!!  I have watched WCVB news for over 30 years, why in the heck would I want to watch a Providence news station??  I live in Massachusetts and want Massachusetts news!! Just because we are close to the RI border, does not make me a Rhode Islander. 

 

Actually, this is just the chance I have been waiting for to get off my butt and start looking at streaming options.  I am not paying over $200 a month, to have my favorite station being taken away.  Just so mad right now!!!!

Jackc44
New Poster

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

I agree, I live in Massachusetts, why would I want to watch Rhode Island news. I guess that you folks don't care about those of us pay well over $200 per month.

 

baboobean
Regular Visitor

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

Comcast keeps taking away programming, but never adds anything of value.  I'm a very long term customer.  First BEIN Sports was removed with no reduction in price.  Then Starz was removed with no reduction in price and no equivalent programming added.  Then during the pandemic, we were charged the regional sports fee for months when no live sports were available and the $4.24 courtesy adjustment was an embarrassment!  Now WCVB is being removed from the lineup.  WCVBs "Chronicle" is one of the reasons I have not switched to a streaming service.  The Providence ABC alternative is not comparable and not acceptable.

luigiand
New Poster

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

Time to look into FIOS

GoldenBear
Regular Visitor

Bristol County MA losing WCVB Boston for Providence station

I live in MA.  I want to watch MA news.  This is a ridiculous decision.  I will cancel my service if WCVB is not reinstated and boot the Providence station if you like!

CCAndrew
Diamond Problem Solver

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

https://www.xfinity.com/support/articles/neighboring-local-tv-stations-no-longer-available

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farley9
Frequent Visitor

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

Right there with you. I don’t care about what is going on in Rhode Island (nothing personal). But I live in Massachusetts, want to see Massachusetts news.
mnw
Contributor

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

There is a way around this. It is called "rabbit ears". I already have them set up and get all of the Boston stations in Easton, with a better picture than on cable.

Mickymouse29
New Poster

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

I have had WCVB for 30 years. I live in mansfield Mass, not RI. This is ridiculous. Comcast -wake up and know your market! This is not Fall River or another market that is used to RI stations. I’ll cancel Comcast
mnw
Contributor

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

Unfortunately, it is not up to Comcast. It is the FCC designation of Bristol County as being part of the Providence DMA that determines what channels are carried. WCVB, WBZ and WHDH were grandfathered in Bristol County. We cannot get NBC10 Boston because it was a new station, and now WCVB because of Hearst who owns WCVB is asking too much from Comcast to carry it outside of Boston DMA. Get out the rabbit ears.

randy453
Regular Visitor

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

I agree I live in Mass. and don’t care about R.I news they never get the weather right for my area.  I have been watching channel 5 for news and weather and sports for better part of my 69 years and and now going to lose my news and weather channel.

Trapped2
New Poster

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

I totally agree. I am irate that WCVB will be dropped. This has been my go to news channel for 20 years. I LIVE IN MASSACHUSETTS! I DO NOT WANT TO WATCH RHODE ISLAND NEWS!!!!!
mnw
Contributor

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

Emailed the Cable Chairman from the Town of Easton to see if he can contact MA Senator Ed Markey who is on the communications committee to ask him to petition the FCC to change Bristol County to the Boston DMA so we won't lose any Boston stations and eliminate Providence channels.

BU_Bulldog
Contributor

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

I wonder what the chances are of Comcast and Hearst working out a deal to provide just the local progamming from WCVB?  This would be the same type of deal WFXT (FOX25) seems to operate under in Bristol County -- anything locally produced, like news programs, are broadcast, while all network-level programming is blacked out.  (Can't say that I've ever paid attention to how syndicated programming is handled.)  I'd begrudginly live with watching ABC programming on WLNE Providence, but losing WCVB newscasts is pretty much worst-case scenario of "which Boston channel would you hate to lose?".

cpeter59
Regular Visitor

Dropping WCVB from Bristol County

Should Comast go through dropping WCVB I will go through dropping Comast and switch to Verizon.  You have a nerve crying poor mouth becasue of increased fees when you think nothing of increasing ours.

tbrastow
Frequent Visitor

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!


@BU_Bulldog wrote:

I wonder what the chances are of Comcast and Hearst working out a deal to provide just the local progamming from WCVB?  This would be the same type of deal WFXT (FOX25) seems to operate under in Bristol County -- anything locally produced, like news programs, are broadcast, while all network-level programming is blacked out.  (Can't say that I've ever paid attention to how syndicated programming is handled.)  I'd begrudginly live with watching ABC programming on WLNE Providence, but losing WCVB newscasts is pretty much worst-case scenario of "which Boston channel would you hate to lose?".


WCVB has "significantly viewed" status across Bristol County, while WFXT doesn't, so ABC programming would not need to be blocked in Bristol County on WCVB, and the channel can be carried without any restrictions.

 

I'd have to imagine something is resolved, I remember there was a bit of an uproar here when the Boston HD channels were dropped from Bristol County on Comcast (and then brought back under the digital expansion), ironically WCVB was the only HD channel not removed from the lineup during that time.

dogmum213
New Poster

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

I feel the same way! What can we do about it? I'd drop COMCAST over this, honestly! I've watched WCVB for 35 years, and don't want to watch RI news.

dogmum213
New Poster

Re: Dropping WCVB from Bristol County

I agree!

Roa52
New Poster

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

I would also contact WCVB so they can let viewers know Bristol County know to contact Comcast.
luigiand
New Poster

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

Already did - here's their repsose:

Thank you for reaching out. 

We are aware of the notice that Comcast has begun to send to their viewers in Bristol County.

Comcast has made a business decision to remove us from their lineup.  To be clear, we have offered them the right to carry our station but they have declined. 

Unfortunately, because Bristol County is not in our defined market area we don't have the ability to force them to carry WCVB.

As always, we remain available for free over-the-air to viewers and on other pay TV providers.

Thank you again for reaching out to me so quickly.  If I hear of any changes in Comcast's position, I will be sure to let you know.

Roa52
New Poster

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

Verizon fios is dropping them too. The same date as Comcast
Roa52
New Poster

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

Being less than 20 miles from Boston and not have Boston local news in our DMA should not be allowed.
frankooch
Regular Visitor

loosing wcvb in channel change

Who determines that people who live in Bristol County,Massachusetts are part of the Providence Rhode Island market. This makes no sense at all.

Myself and the majority of other households in Bristol County,Ma watch Boston stations and have for years.

WCVB in Boston is a far superior station to any station out of Providence,R.I..

So for a minimal fee paid by Comcast you are going to alienate thousands of customers by dropping WCVB for the Providence affiliate,which no one in Massachusetts wants to watch.

Our Comcast bill continues to rise no matter what so Comcast could at the minimum provide stations like WCVB to there loyal (for now) customers.

Do the right thing or risk losing thousands of customers.

 

Ellengallaghe
New Poster

Wcvb ch 5

Please explain the decision for dropping wcvb from Bristol county Massachusetts and assuming Massachusetts residents would be okay with a Rhode Island channel alternative? Don't you want to know local and state news? I do!! Due to covid I'm not allowed in RI without quarantine, why would I want to watch that channel? I loose local news and chronicle.

 

HORRIBLE 

andyross
Silver Problem Solver

Re: loosing wcvb in channel change

Broadcast stations have Designated Market Areas. You are in the RI DMA. That station can force out-of-market stations off of cable/satellite systems. Comast must comply with the law when told to not offer an out-of-market station.

andyross
Silver Problem Solver

Re: Wcvb ch 5

Broadcast stations have Designated Market Areas. You are in the RI DMA. That station can force out-of-market stations off of cable/satellite systems. Comast must comply with the law when told to not offer an out-of-market station.

frankooch
Regular Visitor

Re: loosing wcvb in channel change

That is simply not accurate. Comcast has chosen not to pays fee to Wcvb as was stated in its own message to subscribers.You could at least post an honest answer.It is not tv stations that force other tv stations of off cable. That is ridiculous . So I repeat as a long time Comcast customer in Massachusetts I am asking Comcast to pay to carry Wcvb. This is a Boston station and I watch Boston stations not Providence.
tbrastow
Frequent Visitor

Re: Wcvb ch 5


@andyross wrote:

Broadcast stations have Designated Market Areas. You are in the RI DMA. That station can force out-of-market stations off of cable/satellite systems. Comast must comply with the law when told to not offer an out-of-market station.


WCVB has "significantly viewed" status in Bristol County. This isn't a matter of WLNE in Providence trying to force WCVB off the lineup. Since WCVB is considered "significantly viewed" per the FCC, the channel here can be carried on cable without any restrictions or blocking of network programming.

Jackc44
New Poster

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

I have been told that the Mass. Dept. of Telecommunications is the place we should flood with a ground swell of letters. The DTC website is www.mass.gov/DTC.

It bothers me that Xfinity chose to drop this on us whils everything is in turmoil. They put in an email but not where you could easily see it, on a weekend, just before Thanksgiving. This gives a short week to try to get some action started when all the politicians are very busy.

From what I hear, this was fought over 10 years ago during another channel realignment, apparently, they gave at that time.

Send your letters and emails, but don't stop there. Call all of our representatives in government, US and local.

shirleytem
Frequent Visitor

I live in MA NOT RI

We cannot get Channel 10 Boston. Now was notified we won't be getting Channel 5 anymore. It is impossible to talk to someone in customer service. It is forcing is to go with another carrier.
BruceW
Gold Problem Solver

Re: Wcvb ch 5


@Ellengallaghe wrote: Please explain the decision for dropping wcvb from Bristol county Massachusetts ...

https://www.xfinity.com/support/articles/neighboring-local-tv-stations-no-longer-available says:

 


On December 22, 2020, we'll be removing some TV stations from neighboring markets. This is because the owner of the station from the neighboring market is insisting we pay additional fees to continue to carry their station in your area.

It's all about $$$.

 

mnw
Contributor

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

I mentioned in another thread that I emailed the head of the Easton Cable Committee. These town officials need to reach out to Sen. Ed Markey who is on the communications committee to petition the FCC to change Bristol County to the Boston DMA.

mnw
Contributor

Re: I live in MA NOT RI

It would not matter if you switch to say FIOS. They are doing the same thing because Bristol County is not in the Boston DMA. It is part of Providence DMA. The FCC would have to change this. Get out the "rabbit ears" 

jillcam2969
Regular Visitor

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

I also made a complaint to the Mass Dept of Telecommunications and Cable, not sure it would help but giving it a try..

 

https://www.mass.gov/orgs/department-of-telecommunications-and-cable

bill18cvc
Regular Visitor

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

For decades, I have watched community programming on Channel 5.  Also, News, Weather, and Sports.  The coverage and quality of programming is very good.

For someone to make a decision to tell us to go watch a Rhode Island station instead is beyond acceptable.

Was there any research or customer research done to see how upset many customers would be before making this decision?  None that I know of.

Why not allow customers to select local stations?  If you are truly interested in good customer service that would be offered.

I will be looking to dump comcast at the first good opportunity. 

tbrastow
Frequent Visitor

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

So, it looks like hope is not lost yet. On the Comcast page explaining this decision, they have shifted to saying that WCVB (and other Hearst-owned Stations) MAY be removed from the lineup come December 22, and that they are currently negotiating with Hearst. A week ago, the page flat out mentioned that the channels were going to be removed and that it was a done deal, so this does seem to be a slight step in the right direction.

 

I wonder how much pressure from Comcast customers had to do with this, if any...

 

https://www.xfinity.com/support/articles/neighboring-local-tv-stations-no-longer-available?fbclid=Iw...

dcfox
Regular Contributor

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

Yea every year this time there is negotions for service with station owners. Even the two local station in Lancaster Pa are saying Direct TV and  Dish may not carry them early Dec. It usually gets worked out. Comcast said here I will lose a Baltimore channel but is not local to me. 

Jackc44
New Poster

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

I was told that WCVB would not be cut of Dec 22nd, negotiations are ongoing so the future may still be in doubt. We will see, be pepared to bombard Comcast with complaints if it gets taken away.

dcfox
Regular Contributor

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

I could be wrong but looking at a map as not from there, Bristol Co. seems right outside Providence so it may also be a FCC issue if it the same network. Not saying it is right. 

Ceolona
Frequent Visitor

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

Part money grab and part long time hold over.  😕

 

Way back when, Bristol county could receive (and still does) OTA broadcasting from boston, providing two different sources for network programming.  When cable TV kicked in, the local cable companies carried both Boston and Providence. That's why we have (had?) access both.  There is no "local" cable company anymore, only regional behemoths.

 

Bristol County is in the Providence/New Bedford market, not Boston.  Over the next few years, we can probably expect to lose Channels 4, 5, 25, 38, 56, 60, and 68 as they're all network-duplicates of Providence stations, and "extra" to our market.  (WHDH-7 is now independent and WGBH2/WGBX44 is way too big, so those are probably safe)

BU_Bulldog
Contributor

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!


@Jackc44 wrote:

I have been told that the Mass. Dept. of Telecommunications is the place we should flood with a ground swell of letters. The DTC website is www.mass.gov/DTC.

It bothers me that Xfinity chose to drop this on us whils everything is in turmoil. They put in an email but not where you could easily see it, on a weekend, just before Thanksgiving. This gives a short week to try to get some action started when all the politicians are very busy.

From what I hear, this was fought over 10 years ago during another channel realignment, apparently, they gave at that time.

Send your letters and emails, but don't stop there. Call all of our representatives in government, US and local.


I submitted a complaint to the MA DTC and actually received a call today.  I was told that while the DTC can't regulate what is shown where, they were already aware of this and have raised the issue with the FCC.  In addition to Bristol County being "local" to RI, I believe she said it was Berkshire County that was "local" to Schenectady/Albany, and it was not right that these counties would be losing MA news in favor of RI/NY news.  She also suggested reaching out to Sen. Markey's office with our concerns.

drhull
Problem Solver

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

It should be noted that public broadcasting stations (like PBS) have a different set of rules than commercial stations, that instead of being based on DMAs, they're based on whether the signal is within 50 miles. Markets can have as many public broadcasting stations as there is demand for, so there will be no concern at losing WGBH or WGBX in the Providence DMA, along with WSBE.

 

As for commercial stations, typically there is much stronger protection for the netlets (networks not affiliated with NBC, CBS, ABC or FOX) in regard to duplication, mostly because these networks are much more dependent on syndicated programming to fill out their schedules, and are weaker in general. However, WHDH being independent should likely prevent it from being removed as long as it remains considered significantly viewed in Bristol County, MA. They are, however, subject to non-duplication rules regarding any syndicated content they may carry being blacked out to preserve the rights of whatever Providence stations may air it.

 

This is likely going to continue going forward. Local broadcast stations are very expensive, and a similar deal happened between Comcast and Nexstar last year, which removed duplicate affiliates. Both Comcast and broadcasters support removing these for various reasons. Nexstar had their stations used in a previous dispute by Time Warner Cable for various affiliates. Comcast gets to keep broadcast fees down for what is largely solely carried for local news that can be found online already without customers having to pay for additional stations that mostly will be blacked out, both from network and syndicated programming going forward.

 

While customers may not be happy, I don't see any way around this being the future for all duplicate market affiliates. Sinclair, Nexstar and Hearst have already provided exclusivity deals. The only situations where this will continue is with state/local officials intervening in my eyes, as well as situations where the market and the neighboring market are both owned by the same company. For example, where I'm originally from in MD, Comcast carries both KDKA out of Pittsburgh and WJZ out of Baltimore, both of which are CBS owned and operated stations.

bill18cvc
Regular Visitor

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

It is important to understand that since the consumer has very limited choice in programs available, any comments about paying local channel fees is completely irrelevant.

Personally, I could easily eleminate the majority of stations avalable to me and not miss a thing.  I would suspect that would be a common feeling among customers.  Since I am not interested in their content, Comcast could reduce their costs accordingly.  Shame on Comcast for not being more proactive.

Would there be more maintenece for Comcast?  A bit at first, probably little later on.

I want to stress the failure of general policies like DMA.  The assumption that I would have interest in Rhode Island news instead of Massachusetts news, is a joke.

These marketing and geographical policies need to be fixed. 

Simple minded policies do not tend to make effective solutions.

DDB4
New Poster

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

When I moved a couple of years ago, the ONLY reason I changed from DirectV to Comcast was to get BOSTON NOT RI.  Streaming looking better and better (though anticipating a tax on streaming in the cute)

yellowTulips
New Poster

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

Couldn't agree more.   I want to know what's happening in Massachusetts state government that affects my pocketbook and my quality of life.   

 

The channel that Xfinity is sticking its customers with as a replacement isn't even a Tier 3 level station.   The news team at WCVB is smart, savvy and professional.   For $200.00 per month I want a Tier 1/Class A Boston, Massachusetts news team!

 

randy453
Regular Visitor
Eastonviewer
New Poster

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

Totally agree. Why can people on the Cape be able to see WCVB but viewers in Bristol county can not? The FCC viewing areas do not make sense. Comcast, work harder to come to an agreement with WCVB. I would gladly drop hundreds of the stations that I currently have access to and never watch. Access to local news and programming is important.
dogmum213
New Poster

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

I wrote to the Department of Telecommunications, who called me back and said they're fighting to keep WCVB in Bristol County. She also suggested I write to the FCC, and our Senators Warren and Markey in Washington. I did all those things. FCC wrote back to say they have submitted my complaint to WCVB. Today I got a call from Comcast (Xfinity), who said they are still in negotiations with WCVB, and expect a positive agreement next week. She will call me back with the resolution. I suggest everyone do these things too, the more the better.

D Grout, Somerset, MA

tbrastow
Frequent Visitor

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

It looks like the page explaining the channels being removed is no longer available, and I see that WCVB was removed from the list of TV stations (and I believe all the other Hearst-owned stations as well) that have expiring contracts with this month, so unless anyone has seen an official notice, I think we could be in the clear with this now?

Jon66
New Poster

Re: Bristol County MA- no longer have WCVB!!

https://www.boston.com/news/politics/2020/12/15/comcast-wcvb-massachusetts

 

It was just announced today tha that Comcast has reversed their decision and will continue to carry WCVB.  This came after pressure from Markey and Warren.