WWNY-CBS and WNYF-FOX, Watertown, NY

We want to get WWNY and WNYF back into your lineup as soon as possible, but by law their owner, United Communications, has exclusive control over that.

We share your frustration, as United is blocking WWNY and WNYF until it receives a substantial fee increase. The fact is you can now watch all of the same shows on WWNY and WNYF for free over the air on channels 7 and 35 and, often, at cbs.com and fox.com or using the CBS and Fox Now apps.

We continue to ask United to allow you to watch while we work this matter out privately. We need United’s permission to bring WWNY and WNYF back. We will even agree to pay United any new rates we eventually agree upon if they keep WWNY and WNYF available during whatever time it takes for us to work out our new agreement. United has disconnected its most loyal viewers here in Watertown before, while we strive to deliver the content you want at a value that makes sense to you.

Why am I missing WWNY and WNYF from my channel line-up?

We share your frustration, as United Communications is blocking WWNY and WNYF until it receives a substantial fee increase. The fact is you can now watch all of the same shows on WWNY and WNYF for free over the air on channels 7 and 35 and, often, at cbs.com and fox.com or using the CBS and Fox Now apps. Broadcasters like United were involved in approximately 165 blackouts in 2018, after setting an all-time high of more than 210 blackouts in over 120 cities the prior year, causing more than 21 million American homes at least some temporary disruption. There have already been 25 blackouts in the first few weeks of 2019 and more than 1,000 local blackouts this decade as stations continue to remove their signals from people’s homes in order to inflate their own fees for “free” TV. During that same time, these fees have increased more than 30 times over, even though primetime audiences for the major broadcast networks have fallen by more than half, say United analysts Nielsen and SNL Kagan. These fees will cost U.S. consumers $12.8 billion by 2023, up from $7.7 billion in 2016, according to SNL Kagan, representing a major 66% increase.

Am I going to miss any upcoming NFL playoff action? 

WNYF will televise Sunday’s NFC Championship Game between the LA Rams and New Orleans Saints, which remains available over the air on channel 35 and Fox Sports often streams games live at foxsportsgo.com or to fans using the Fox Sports Go app. WWNY will televise Sunday’s AFC Championship between the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs, which remains available over the air on channel 7 and CBS Sports often streams games live at cbssports.com and to fans using the CBS Sports app. Please check online for availability in your area.

How soon will WWNY and WNYF return?

We believe business-to-business matters are best conducted in a conference room and not in the public domain. We continue to ask United to allow our customers to watch while we work this matter out privately. We need their permission to bring WWNY and WNYF back. We will even agree to pay United any new rates we eventually agree upon if they keep WWNY and WNYF available during whatever time it takes for us to work out our new agreement. We provide more than 1,800 local TV stations across the country, and strive to deliver the content our customers want at a value that makes sense to them.

Can’t DIRECTV just offer me another CBS and FOX station while United blacks out WWNY and WNYF?

It’s unfortunate, but no. United has exclusive control over which customers in Watertown are allowed to receive CBS and FOX regardless of which provider you choose. United has unfortunately disconnected its most loyal viewers here in Watertown before.

Why shouldn’t I just switch to another provider that offers WWNY and WNYF?

Service providers must work out agreements with local TV station owners like United to deliver the news, sports and entertainment you often care to watch. Stations will often create intentional blackouts – temporarily cutting off supply – to boost the fees providers must pay just to get that content back. United has disconnected viewers here in Watertown before. Different providers competing to offer you local service all typically face the same kinds of demands from United and other local station owners in your community. Temporary dust-ups occur more frequently, and are not exclusive to DIRECTV. Broadcasters like United were involved in approximately 165 blackouts in 2018, after setting an all-time high of more than 210 blackouts in over 120 cities the prior year, causing more than 21 million American homes at least some temporary disruption. There have already been 25 blackouts in the first few weeks of 2019 and more than 1,000 local blackouts this decade as stations continue to remove their signals from people’s homes in order to inflate their own fees for “free” TV. During that same time, these fees have increased more than 30 times over, even though primetime audiences for the major broadcast networks have fallen by more than half, say United analysts Nielsen and SNL Kagan. These fees will cost U.S. consumers $12.8 billion by 2023, up from $7.7 billion in 2016, according to SNL Kagan, representing a major 66% increase.

How can I still see my favorite CBS and FOX series or events?

Many homes in Watertown can receive WWNY and WNYF by turning off their DIRECTV receiver and tuning their digital TV to channels 7 and 35. Station owners like United will often give away digital antennas to boost viewers’ reception, so you may want to contact WWNY and WNYF about that. CBS and FOX often stream primetime series online at cbs.com and fox.com or to fans using the CBS and Fox Now apps. CBS Sports and Fox Sports often stream NFL playoff games and other events live at cbssports.com and foxsportsgo.com or to fans using the CBS Sports or Fox Sports Go apps. Please check online for availability in your area. These are only a few short-term alternatives, but we’re working with United to get WWNY and WNYF back as soon as we can.

Will I be able to receive WWNY and WNYF’s over the air digital signal inside my home?

United must deliver a strong digital signal across the whole community, so many homes in Watertown should be able to turn off their DIRECTV receiver and tune their digital TV sets to channels 7 and 35. You can also boost your reception with an inexpensive tabletop antenna available at most local electronics stores or also online. Mountains and other natural obstructions can sometimes come between your home and wherever United chose to locate its transmitters, making reception more difficult.