Markey Calls for Protections for NBC TV Viewers in Massachusetts

Washington (December 5, 2016) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, today sent a letter to Comcast requesting detailed information about the company’s plans to ensure that residents in the Massachusetts and in parts of New England can continue to access to NBC’s free, over-the-air coverage. Earlier this year, Comcast-NBCUniversal announced its intention to end its affiliation with WHDH and launch an NBC-owned and operated station in January 2017. By ending its affiliation with WHDH, NBC will no longer use WHDH’s transmitter to provide free, over-the-air coverage to communities in the Boston area and other parts of Massachusetts. Instead, NBC will reportedly use a transmitter in New Hampshire and has recently agreed to purchase a low-power television station in Boston, which may be used to boost NBC’s signal.

 

In the letter, Senator Markey asks Comcast what transmitter(s) it will use to provide Massachusetts with coverage by January, and which communities, if any, will be unable to access the same quality of indoor or outdoor antenna coverage in 2017 as they received with WHDH in 2016. Senator Markey also asked Comcast how it is making communities aware of the impending transition to a new network-owned station.

 

“I am concerned that when NBC launches its network-owned station in January, some communities in Massachusetts and throughout New England may lose reliable access to free, over-the-air NBC content,”writes Senator Markey in the letter to Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian L. Roberts. “Seniors, low-income residents, and anyone who has recently ended their pay-TV subscription may be particularly impacted if there is a reduction in coverage.

 

A copy of Senator Markey’s letter can be found HERE.