Broadcasting insists on a severe rate increase for the CBS, ABC, CW and OCTV networks. The total cost for these same channels would essentially double going forward and such a steep increase in programming fees would have to be passed on to Viya’s Cable TV subscribers.
During two months of negotiations, Lilly refused to accept Viya’s counter offers, and on Friday, Jan. 4, Lilly shut off the channel feeds, thus creating hardship for Cable TV customers. This is Lilly’s second recent cut-off of Virgin Islands pay TV viewers. Shortly after hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017, Lilly Broadcasting pulled its ABC and CBS feeds to satellite pay TV customers in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. These rate increases and other tactics punish and place unnecessary hardship on local viewers. Despite these tactics, Viya will continue to focus on reaching an agreement that is fair to its customers.
These negotiations affect the following four channels:
• CBS – Channels 2 (SD) and 502 (HD)
• CW- Channels 5 and 505
• ABC- Channels 6 and 506
• One Caribbean TV– Channels 24 and 524
It is important to note that while Viya continued to negotiate in good faith, Lilly Broadcasting repeatedly made explicit threats to remove all four channels on and before Dec. 31, 2018. While Viya requested an extension to complete negotiations and allow consumer access to these channels, Lilly responded with a cutoff after four days, removing their channels on Jan. 4, 2019.
Viya will continue to work diligently to negotiate a fair deal that will not place a burden on its subscribers and the community will be informed of the progress in these negotiations.
Until Viya and Lilly come to a reasonable agreement and the feeds are provided again, Viya customers may stream much of this content online, usually with a free trial period. Customers can access ABC on Viya’s Watch TV Everywhere platform.
• CBS- CBS.com/All-Access
• CW- CWTV.com/shows
• ABC- ABC.go.com
Viya Cable TV subscribers will continue to find local and regional news, events and content on TV2, which is available on Viya Cable Channels 4 (SD) and 504 in (HD).
To voice complaints to Lilly about their proposed rate increases and their decision to turn off CBS, CW, ABC and OCTV for Cable TV subscribers, Viya customers can call 814-454-5201.