XFINITY from Comcast to cut local ABC stations

WTNH, WCTX, and MyTV will no longer be carried on your XFinity lineup

Some residents were upset to hear that their cable provider, XFINITY from Comcast, plans to cut some local stations from its lineup later this month due to changes in its agreement with the stations’ owner, Nexstar Media Group.

Michael Parker, senior vice president of Comcast Western New England, recently sent a letter to its customers describing the changes in the company’s contract.

“We are writing to let you know that effective May 23, 2017, WTNH, ABC and WCTX MyTV will no longer be carried on your XFinity lineup. This is due to changes in our business agreement with the station’s owner that no longer allows Comcast to offer these stations in the same manner that it has in the past. These stations are based outside of your local broadcast area and provide same network programming that’s carried by other stations that serve your broadcast area … We understand that some programming at WTNH and WCTX may be of interest to you and we apologize for any inconvenience the change may cause. Thank you for being an Xfinity customer.”

Xfinity Vice President of Communications Kristen L. Roberts explained that in Fairfield County, towns served by Comcast are having stations cut due to zoning designations set by Nielsen, which provides television ratings to networks.

“This region is designated by Nielsen as part of the New York television market, and as Hartford/New Haven stations, WTNH and WCTX are considered ‘out-of-market broadcasters’ in Fairfield County. Our practice is to not pay twice for largely duplicative programming, as that could further impact customers’ bills. Connecticut local news and entertainment can still be found on the XFINITY TV lineup on WVIT-NBC, WFSB (CBS) and WCCT (CW), as well as through the Connecticut Public Television Stations. In terms of ABC programming, Xfinity TV customers can continue to watch all of ABC’s network programming via WABC, the local New York ABC station for the area and WWOR, the local MyTV station for the area.  Syndicated programming carried by WTNH (e.g. Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, etc.) can be found on the local ABC affiliate for that area on Xfinity TV.”

Shelton resident and XFINITY customer Brad Harris said he’s now in search of a new place to get all of his weather updates.

“I was shocked that they would drop channel 8 which is basically the local station for this area,” said Harris. “I used to depend on NewsChannel 8 for the weather.”

XFINITY from Comcast is the largest cable provider in the country, serving 22 million customers in 39 states and the District of Columbia.

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  • Tom Harbinson

    So in Shelton, which is in Fairfield County yet only 10.5 miles from WTNH’s studio in New Haven CT, should instead get their ABC network and CT local news from WABC’s studio in NYC 74.8 miles away? Huh?! Funny how the WVIT studio in New Britain CT (40.7 miles) is allowed to continue broadcasting the NBC network despite the WNBC studio in NYC similarly duplicating that network’s carry. It seems curious that when Comcast owns NBC Universal and both stations WVIT in CT, and WNBC in NY – it allows both to be carried on it’s cable system. But not the WTNH affiliate of the competitor under the excuse that “These stations are based outside of your local broadcast area and provide same network programming that’s carried by other stations that serve your broadcast area”. Nicely played Comcast.

    • ReturnoftheBrotha .

      WTNH is in the HARTFORD market – they should move up there so that New Haven County is officially in the NYC market. Do you really think Hartford news and it’s angle towards MA and claiming Boston teams as local to CT has something to do with Shelton whose local teams are NY and NJ? South Jersey has a similar issue where the NYC market hits the Philly market, but no one argues against NJ being in either.

      For you outsiders, we CT natives LOVE being in the NYC region because this is where we are and this is all that we have known. I know forces in Boston wish that WE were in their region so that THEY could then claim to be in the NYC region – which is their goal, but we have nothing to do with Boston or Hartford for that matter.

      As for WVIT and WFSB, all that has to be done is for WNBC4 and WCBS2 (we love having the nation’s flagship network channels as our local channels) to make a call to Comcast and tell them to remove these out of market channels from their system and Comcast has to comply. This is what WTIC61 and WTNH have done for channel 5, 9 and 7 in the New Haven area – because they want to block out NYC so that they can spread pro-Boston propaganda in CT. We don’t want Boston or anyone else infecting us with their trash – we are in the NYC region. If you people who relocated from the New England area to here hoping to Boston had any juice here – you CAN go back to where you came from if you would like. You knew this was the NYC region, that’s why you moved here.

  • janicemoy

    I’ve complained to Comcast several times about this. They do not seem to care. We don’t live in NY. There are reasons we chose not to live in NY, even though we pay taxes there. ABC NY doesn’t carry ANY CT news and forget about weather, closings, emergencies,etc. How can we get Channel 8 back in the line up?

    • ReturnoftheBrotha .

      We do live in METRO NYC. Like NJ, this is the way it is. If you don’t like it, you can feel free to move to the Hartford or Boston or Los Angeles regions. You may not have chosen to live IN NY, but living NEAR NY was chosen FOR NY. Do you think you can live near NY to work there and expect to not hear about NY?

      Thanks to my efforts, NYC media carries more CT news and has sections for CT on their websites. This Tri-state area is America’s largest so there is a lot to cover. Clearly your moving here was to be a part of the USA’s largest city/region, so we know you love it. I will admit that if you have Comcast, your CT news on a more local level is very limited versus if you had Cablevision, which offers News12 – as local as local gets.

      Well, CT needs a news channel that is in the NYC market that would be forced to be carried in NJ just as NJ does with us. I am not rich, but there are a whole lot of rich people in this Tri-state area – maybe they can set one up.

      • janicemoy

        We live in Danbury, not down county. My husband works upstate (farther north than here) because IBM didn’t have R&D in CT 35 years ago (and never will). We could have bought in Poughkeepsie or farther north, but we wanted to live back in New England, not in NYC. We rarely go into the city (every few YEARS). And I’m a Red Sox fan. So, NYC news will never be my cup of tea, thanks. Thanks for whatever it is that you did to get NYC media to carry more CT news. Wish it were more – MUCH more.

        • ReturnoftheBrotha .

          I figured your type was from MA or one of the states in THAT region. I am happy that you moved to Danbury (right on the NY border) and realized that you moved into Metro NYC (America’s largest) and NOT some mythical “New England.” NE is a Boston thing, not a CT thing. If you had not noticed, 99% of NE references in CT come from MA based businesses and products, hardly any from CT.

          Besides, who told you that living in CT is living in “New England” and why would you expect anything Boston related in CT – which is light years from Boston? CT does not do Red Sox – we do Yankees and Mets. Do you know how far a drive it is to the Red Sox stadium vs. Yankee Stadium? We don’t deal with out of market teams.

          Well, you will have to deal with this New York City Tri-state area. You moved here for it and if you moved here hoping to spread Boston influence in CT, well that is like trying to spread Judaism in Saudi Arabia! We in CT LOVE being in metro NYC and we DETEST people trying to force relations for Boston, which is oh so far away. CT has nothing to do with the Boston region. Welcome to New York!

          • janicemoy

            I’m laughing. Last year, Yankee Magazine had a great article on whether or not CT is really part of NE. You would be amazed at how many CT folk took umbrage at being considered part of the “Evil Empire”. Especially folks from Fairfield County. I’ve never felt like we were not in NE – until this, lol. I noticed that Comcast kept the CT NBC affiliate even though it is farther from us than WTNH. But then, they own NBC now.

          • ReturnoftheBrotha .

            Well, for CT NATIVES, we like and have always grown up with knowing that we are in metro NYC, only outsiders (particularly from so-called New England) hate it. I personally never knew much about Boston until the 2000’s, largely due to the internet. For the longest time, I never knew where the New England Patriots were from!

            In FFC, we have many transplants from other regions of the country – including the dreaded (and jealous) Boston region. I never felt like I was ever in a New England at all – and that’s what I love! We have nothing to do with those states as CT does not revolve around nor do we revere Boston. Boston is far away from the main happenings in the northeast and this is one reason they think CT should be aligned with them. Do you think Fairfield County is the most populous, richest with national TV shows and networks because they loved “New England?” No, it is that way because it is metro NYC. Note that the least populous and poorest county in CT is the one closet to Boston (Windham) and even that is still a good hour an a half away at the least.

            You know you are hear because you love NYC. The CT stations are NYC because that city is the epicenter of our region (of course – not Boston. It is too small and too far away) and that city is closer than Hartford is. I live 23 minutes from the Bronx and 4 hours from Boston – who has nothing to do with us.

            You might be right about WVIT, however, WNBC (America’s flagship NBS station) is our local NBC station – not that Hartford station. That NECN needs to be gone from all of CT as well as NECN. I am working on it! Boston has not right in CT and we (natives) don’t want them around these parts!

            If WNBC told Comcast to get rid of WVIT, they would have to. When I go to get my oil changed in others areas of CT (whoever has the better prices), they may have the TV tuned to WVIT. I see their ads often mention MA. I don’t want to see ads with MA since MA is no where around here.

            I know that Danbury has a hard time receiving signals but even in Milford, I was in a waiting room and they were pulling NYC station off air with a cheap antenna. This NYC region is our local region – you know you love it!

            Imagine being NJ when your choices are NYC channels or Philly channels and not real NJ channels. The only reason CT does not get Boston channels is because Boston is too far away, so that is why Hartford get’s a market. In my opinion, the Hartford TV market should not extend to the range that it does. LItchfield and New Haven Counties should be NYC market. I really don’t want a mention of Boston in my state.

          • janicemoy

            You are ALMOST making my point. WTNH was the ONLY CT station we watched for anything local. I don’t really want Boston news either (and the few times I do [since the rest of the family is up north of there and in NH], I turn on NECN). WTNH was really the only “local” network for us up here, the only CT station that didn’t cater to either Boston or NYC.

          • ReturnoftheBrotha .

            I see, but you had to of known that moving to CT was not going to be like being in the Boston area and moving anywhere along the border would put you in metro NYC. I do see so many license plates in this NY/NJ/CT region that it seems like an invasion – to try and “New Englandize” CT!

            Anyway, WTNH largely sticks to the New Haven area (as they should) and they are an out of market channel so they need to stay in their lane. They were the only “CT” channel that did show “Tri-state” TV ads, although ads that specifically mentioned NY/NJ/CT were blacked out.

            They DID lean toward Boston (maybe to appease Hartford area viewers or those closer to the MA border) by their sports reporting, which seemed to include Boston sports reporting as local to CT – which they are not. For that lying news alone, we don’t need them around here. On their fake channel 9, they would also show Patriots (not local to CT) pre-season games – why? These things alone are enough for me to be happy they are gone and to never return.

            I like letting people from states up north know that in CT, we are not concerned about Boston and their sports teams and Boston is no where near us. We also do not want them nor anyone who moves here trying to wear Boston sports paraphernalia to make it appear as if native CT people like Boston sports. CT is not the market for them, which is why you never see ads for them. Those other states hail Boston, while we are proud to be in the top metro area in the nation. We most certainly don’t want outsiders to try and bring us down to their level.

            Yes, Danbury is weird because you have Comcast and not Cablevision, which would have given you News12, which would really let you know that you would not miss WTNH if you had it. Cablevision does not want to spread News12 because it is a hook for their cable service. Maybe Comcast should ditch the out of market, made up station of NECN and give NY/NJ/CT a regional station?

          • janicemoy

            30+ years ago, we had absolutely NO idea FFC was considered NY. We did look for a house in NY, but I wanted a quaint N.E. town and found it in the Danbury area. You should read that Yankee Magazine article. Not everyone agrees with you. By a longshot. (Although folks up north do raise questions about us.) Not sure why you are so undone by the thought that people here might like to have the best of both worlds.

          • ReturnoftheBrotha .

            “Quaint NE(whatever NE is supposed to be) town: is not what you find in CT, you have to find that in MA or NH or someplace. CT is all-in with NYC. That is the way it was, that is the way it is and people like me will make sure to do what I can to let outsiders who think that they are coming here to take us away from that and try to move us towards a far away and small city like Boston are shut down!

            Again, that article means nothing to me because there are CT natives and imports from other regions who move down here thinking that if they wear Boston sports wear that it brings visibility that people like Boston sports in CT, and therefore CT should be in the Boston region. Boston is where it is and they and it’s ‘colonizers’ need to stay out there.

            No matter how much you think we should praise Boston or the NE concept, even you guys know the strength of NYC makes you forget about Boston, that is why you moved to CT and not the Boston area. The last thing I want are outsiders coming here as if they have a duty to promote Boston in CT. Boston is light years away, small and it has nothing to do with us. They even speak another language – because I have a hard time understanding them.

            I can accept that many of you did not realize that CT is in metro NYC (even though it is no where near Boston) and you assumed since it is called a so-called NE state, that it meant ‘all praise is due to Boston,’ but I am glad that you have the reality check. Now you should have accepted the facts by now and realize that Boston is too far away to have any influence on CT.

            CT is not like NJ where it is split between NYC and Philly, CT is split between NYC and CT(Hartford) – Boston has nothing to do with CT, and I know they hate it. The geographical and cultural facts are just – the facts. The ONLY thing you people from the Boston region can even try to argue about is this “NE” thing, which is just a title, but it has no meaning.

            People like me don’t like far away places trying to lay claim to us and put us in a class with lesser regions/cities, which are far away from us. This is the Tri-state area – Boston AND Philly need not apply.

          • janicemoy

            I’ll say it once again. While CT has historically been part of New England (note the white-spired Congregational churches in the center of many towns and not the Presbyterian churches of NY), I understand your point. I don’t want to live in Boston. Don’t want Boston news. Root for the Red Sox, but the only team logos on display in this house are Yankees. So, I follow both and usually in print or radio, never on TV. I just want CT to be CT, neither Boston nor New York. Is there something wrong with CT that we have to glom onto NY?

          • ReturnoftheBrotha .

            We CT NATIVES love NYC and we are not concerned with Boston. Also, New England has no meaning except to metro Boston.

            You do have to realize that CT news in parts of CT is NYC news, as NYC is the epicenter of OUR region. CT is a suburban state, not a state with a national major city. NJ is much the same that is why NYC news is NJ news, even though I will admit that they talk about NJ more than NYC on most occasions. I read somewhere it had to do with the fact that NJ is too close to NYC and Philly to have it’s own stations.

            Now if you are looking for only CT news or a focus on CT news – then we should have that. News12 does a great job of doing CT news while making sure that they let viewers know that this is metro NYC, unlike Hartford market news, which seems to block out Tri-state references and likes to include MA news or mentions, along with reporting on Boston sports as out alternative teams/local. They are not local, they are out of market teams.

            Just like NH, RI or other places in MA, I am sure that those places revolve around Boston, it’s sports teams, it’s news and it’s culture, this is the way it is here in metro NYC. This is America’s premier city, not a little place like Boston or an even smaller place like Hartford. You have to expect these things.

            Again, in the areas where Comast is, getting local CT (not statewide, but around Danbury) news IS a problem and should be addressed by someone. I suggested to out local media (NYC) that they created digital sub-channel news specializing in NJ, LI, CT, Hudson Valley and Staten Island. That way, everyone can get served by our local stations.

          • ReturnoftheBrotha .

   That might be as close as you will get to local news without News12.

  • ReturnoftheBrotha .

    This is glorious news! WTNH and the Hartford area stations do NOT serve CT and the Tri-state area – the like going away from us and towards Boston! We are in metro NYC – Americans largest metro area – not Boston and we don’t care about Boston. The only people who might care about WTNH and it’s fake channel 9 are people who relocated from other areas or people who hate the fact that CT is in metro NYC.

    Here are some facts. WTNH has been an enemy of the Tri-state area (probably due to it’s RI owner) and they got the REAL channel 9 removed from New Haven area Comcast and replaced with their fake channel 9. They also got WABC7 blacked out in order to try and shut down all NYC presence in CT (except off-air and Frontier). WTIC61 also got WNYW5 taken off New Haven areas Comcast in order to remove NYC in CT. The funny part is, WTIC is in Hartford and they did not even get channel 5, but they wanted to remove any and all NYC channels. This is why they call themselves “Fox CT” because channel 5 was “Fox 5.”

    These small affiliates have some nerve trying to challenge the flagship channels. What this is really about is Boston doing their best to try and removed NYC from CT (impossible!) so they pay off others in CT to do the work for them. The ONLY thing they have to work with is proclaiming CT to be “New England,” so Boston is in NE so therefore CT should lean toward Boston. Well Boston is light years from CT and no part of CT is in the Boston region. All Boston sports are out of market to all of CT.

    NYC is mere minutes away from CT while Boston is HOURS away. We all know this, so we cannot play games. Hartford DMA channels started this war, so now the shoe is on the other foot. They should have stayed in their lanes. We do not want out of market news that tries to impose out of that THAT market sports teams and news on us when we are no where near them. Hartford can have Boston if that’s want they want, and we like NYC! Good riddance – and don’t come back! We cannot even pick up New Haven or Hartford stations off-air, but we can for NYC, as they are closer.

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