Verizon recently dropped two major outdoor channels from its FiOS TV lineup, and its customers are not happy about it.
Outdoor Sportsman Group Networks announced on Thursday that cable provider Verizon has dropped Outdoor Channel from its television carriage service. The move comes less than a month after Verizon similarly removed Sportsman Channel from its lineup, and Verizon is now urging viewers to seek “alternative programming” such as the Discovery Channel and History.
“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, in a press release. “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 explained that its decision to drop Sportsman Channel from FiOS TV last month was due to ongoing costs and other factors. At the time, the company did not give any indication that sister network Outdoor Channel would be dropped as well, although the channel was suspiciously absent in Verizon’s list of alternatives—which customers have criticized for not being similar to the removed channels in the least.
“We have decided not to renew our contract for Sportsman Channel due to its low viewership, and have discontinued broadcasting it. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause,” the company told customers in September.
Now with both channels gone, Liberatore said FiOS TV is almost completely devoid of any shows for hunters, anglers, and other outdoors enthusiasts. Outdoor Sportsman Group Networks is currently encouraging their viewers to demand their channels’ return on Verizon or alternatively, switch to another cable provider entirely.