Commentary

Conservative Network Suddenly Disappears from Verizon Fios TV

Verizon’s Fios TV has dropped BlazeTV, according to The Washington Times. Subscribers received a message alerting them to the change.

“As you know we must periodically renew our agreements with TV content providers to be able to bring you the programming available on Fios TV,” said a statement on the Verizon website.

“Given that the cost of programming is the single biggest factor in higher TV bills, we carefully review proposals from network providers to be sure that their rates are in line with their viewership. This practice allows us to bring you a competitive rate for Fios TV packages,” the statement explained. “As a result, we have decided to remove The Blaze (Ch. 112 SD / 612 HD) from our lineup effective December 28, 2018.”

Subscribers were then advised to use the app or to subscribe directly to the channel.

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The network originated with the joining of Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze with Mark Levin’s CRTV. Its lineup includes Mark Levin, Glenn Beck, Stephen Crowder, Eric Bolling, Phil Robertson and others.

The public’s response to the change has been fast and furious.

Did politics play a role in Verizon's Fios TV decision?

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Over on the Verizon website forum, customers also criticized the decision. More than one pointed to a possible political motive.

“With all the junk programming available, VZ now decides to remove an information TV program,” on commenter wrote. “I cannot help but to believe this decision is more about politics than viewers. VZ publicly talks diversity but their action speaks of clear resistance to diverse views. Reverse your decision and reinstate The Blaze.”

Not everyone had a problem with the decision, however. One came to Verizon’s defense.

“It doesn’t take a genius to see they removed it because it got no ratings whatsoever. Add in how no one else has it cable wise … thank goodness they removed it. And I am a Republican.”

Direct subscription to BlazeTV is currently advertised at a rate of $10 per month for a monthly subscription, $8.25 per month billed as $99 annually for a yearly subscription, and $5.53 per month billed as $199 once for a three-year subscription.

As one person in the forum argued, cost may have been a factor in the decision.

“The blaze charges $10/month for a subscription to their channel if you want to stream,” the commenter wrote. “Its (sic) highly possible that the terms of their renewal didn’t meet Verizon costs. Blaze appears to only be carried by Cablevision and some smaller cable companies.”

“Remember that cable providers pay for everyone that has access to a channel regardless of viewership. If Blaze was in a tier with low viewership, the cost may have been too much.”

Verizon Fios carries more than 425 channels, The Washington Times noted. BlazeTV currently advertises 27 shows, with a promise of more to come.

While it may have been a financial decision, given the current climate of conservatives being “shadow banned,” banned and dropped from various platforms, it is understandable that some would question whether another factor was involved.

Meanwhile, for Verizon Fios subscribers, they can still enjoy BlazeTV; they’ll just have to do it another way. And that may cost Verizon Fios in the long run.

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