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Verizon blackout of Nexstar stations impacts Pennsylvania Senate debate viewers

The Pennsylvania U.SSenate debate wasn't on Nexstar stations for Fios customers.

This combination of file photos shows Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman (left) and Republican Senate candidate Mehmet Oz.
This combination of file photos shows Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman (left) and Republican Senate candidate Mehmet Oz.Read more/ AP

If you have Verizon Fios TV as your cable provider, you may run into issues trying to watch Tuesday’s highly anticipated Pennsylvania Senate debate between John Fetterman and Mehmet Oz.

Oz and Fetterman will face off at 8 p.m. Tuesday in Harrisburg in the first and only debate ahead of the Nov. 8 general election. The debate will serve as many voters’ first time seeing the two candidates speak outside the context of the ads that have blanketed television and radio stations throughout the state.

The debate — which takes place at the studios for abc27, an affiliate of ABC that serves the Susquehanna Valley — will be telecast in 62 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, as well as some parts of Ohio, New York, and Washington, D.C., Nexstar, which owns abc27, said in a statement. In the Philadelphia area, the debate will air live on PHL-17.

But Verizon has blacked out all Nexstar Media Group-owned stations — which include all WPHL stations such as PHL17, as well as NewsNation — on its service. The companies failed to reach a new distribution agreement earlier this month, leading to the blackout.

» READ MORE: Pa. Senate debate: Start time, how to watch and stream 2022 showdown between Fetterman and Oz

It is unclear when the channels might again be available to Fios subscribers. Verizon says that it will work to return the stations to customers as soon as possible.

So Fios subscribers may need to turn to streaming. In addition to watching it on PHL17′s website, the debate will be streamed on a number of other station’s websites, include New York’s WETM-TV, WPIX-TV, and WIBV-TV, as well as the Washington, D.C.-based WDVM-TV. All the Pennsylvania-based stations airing the debate will also carry it on their respective websites, Nexstar said.