- The Washington Times - Friday, December 28, 2018

Verizon Fios carries more than 425 channels, but as of Friday, BlazeTV is not one of them. The online streaming giant dropped the conservative outlet founded by veteran broadcasters Mark Levin and Glenn Beck.

“As you know we must periodically renew our agreements with TV content providers to be able to bring you the programming available on Fios TV. At Verizon, we put our customers first in all our content decisions. We aim to provide content our customers want at a fair price,” Fios said in a message to subscribers.

“Given that the cost of programming is the single biggest factor in higher TV bills, we carefully review proposals from network providers to be sure that their rates are in line with their viewership. This practice allows us to bring you a competitive rate for Fios TV packages. As a result, we have decided to remove The Blaze (Ch. 112 SD / 612 HD) from our lineup effective December 28, 2018,” the Fios message said, advising customers to download the BlazeTV app or subscribe directly to the channel itself.

Some customers have noticed.

“Blaze TV gone. With all the junk programming available, [Verizon] now decides to remove an information TV program. I cannot help but to believe this decision is more about politics than viewers,” advised one message in an online community support group.

“Their action speaks of clear resistance to diverse views. Reverse your decision and reinstate The Blaze,” noted another post.

Launched Dec. 13, The Blaze is clear about its mission.

“Tens of millions of Americans have had it with the biased, ideologically-driven mainstream media outlets that sanctimoniously advance their own agendas under the guise of news and journalism,” said Mr. Levin in an initial statement for the programming, which features 30 live broadcasts each week and talent that includes Eric Bolling, Steven Crowder, Phil Robertson, Deneen Borelli and Steve Deace.

“Blaze Media is a pro-America, pro-free speech media company. We encourage and empower content creators to speak boldly and freely, without fear of censorship,” noted a mission statement.

BlazeTV is currently carried by Apple TV, ROKU, Dish Network, AmazonfireTV and other providers. There was no immediate reaction to the Fios decision from BlazeTV representatives.

Fios, in the meantime, is currently in a contract dispute over increased programming costs with Disney, the parent company of both ABC and ESPN. Should the two companies not come to terms, millions of customers could go without their traditional New Year’s Day football games and other popular fare.

The contract expires Monday. If there is no solution, Disney channels will no longer be carried by Fios.

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