Cable customers in Bristol County will not lose access to WCVB-TV because Comcast and Hearst have quietly reached a consent agreement that will allow Comcast to keep carrying the ABC affiliate station in the region.

Comcast reportedly reached an agreement with dozens of Hearst TV stations across the U.S., meaning that about 35 out-of-market stations in 38 regional markets that were set to be dropped on Dec. 22 will remain. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

If WCVB-TV Channel 5 had been pulled from the Comcast lineup, Bristol County residents would have been deprived of news and sports out of Boston, and left exclusively with broadcast news out of Providence, Rhode Island. The FCC considers the New Bedford and Fall River region to be in the Providence media market, served by WLNE ABC-6.

Earlier this month, after hearing from constituents, the area's congressional delegation got involved, and wrote to top executives at Hearst and Comcast urging them to work out their apparent differences over pricing and carriage.

"We are writing to express concern about reports that Comcast subscribers in Bristol County will be losing access to local news and broadcasting from WCVB, their Massachusetts ABC affiliate," read the letter from U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey and Reps. Bill Keating and Joe Kennedy III. "The loss of this channel will prevent Bristol County residents from viewing a critical source of Massachusetts news and information over their set-top boxes."

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