channel blackouts

Outdoor Channel said Verizon dropped the net from its FiOS TV lineup at midnight Thursday, a move that comes one month after the telco dropped sister net Sportsman Channel.

The writing seemed to be on the wall, with Verizon naming History and Discovery as networks offering “similar” content to Sportsman after the channel went dark on FiOS in September. Verizon did not mention Outdoor or World Fishing Net, which are part of the Outdoor Sportsman Group Networks along with Sportsman. Sportsman and Outdoor were both part of Verizon’s Sports Pass package.

“Our partners, advocates and viewers of outdoor lifestyle programming are very disappointed with Verizon’s actions in the last month,” said Jim Liberatore, CEO and President of Outdoor Sportsman Group Networks. “It should concern all Americans that one company can silence the only relevant voice of an entire industry with the flip of a switch.”

Verizon could not immediately be reached for comment. When it dropped Sportsman last month, the company said it makes the “difficult decision to remove channels that the vast majority of our customers do not spend a lot of time watching, particularly where suitable alternatives exist.”

Outdoor Sportsman Group points to 130mln Americans who is says are engaged in some form of outdoor lifestyle activity. It’s already got the support of AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka, who noted in a statement that the union has more than 6.5mln members who “make the outdoors an important part of their lives.”

Outdoor Channel said Verizon dropped the net from its FiOS TV lineup at midnight, a move that comes one month after the telco dropped sister net Sportsman Channel.

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