At midnight on Sunday, Hearst pulled its signals from Directv, saying the two companies had reached an impasse.
No word yet from DIRECTV. Also no update yet on the Cox Media talks.
Below is our original story.
DIRECTV this weekend could lose 48 local stations in two separate fee fights, according to notices published by the stations.
Stations owned by Hearst Television, which include the ABC affiliate in Boston, the NBC affiliate in New Orleans, the NBC station in Baltimore and 30 others, have posted notices at their web sites that DIRECTV viewers could lose their signals on January 1, 2017 if a new pact is not reached.
And network affiliates owned by Cox Media, which has 15 stations in 10 markets, also posted alerts that Cox Media’s current carriage deal with DIRECTV expires on January 1, 2017. The Cox notices add that the stations are likely to be removed from the satcaster at that time because negotiations between the two companies are not progressing.
Update: After TVPredictions.com yesterday reported on the Cox alerts, some Cox-owned stations took them off their web sites. But on Wednesday at around 6 p.m. ET, Cox Media stations again posted notices at their web sitesthat their signals are likely to be pulled from DIRECTV on January 1.
TVPredictions.com has asked AT&T, which owns DIRECTV, for a comment, but the company has yet to respond.
A Cox Media spokesman earlier today told TVPredictions.com that his company had no comment. However, one Cox Media station quotes Cox Media’s corporate office as saying its viewers should call DIRECTV and urge it to keep the station on the air.
Update #2: Cox Media today (December 29) issued a statement saying it was “disappointed…that (Cox Media) and AT&T appear to be reaching an impasse that could lead to a disruption in service for AT&T U-verse and DIRECTV subscribers.”
Cox also owns the Fox and CBS affiliates in Jacksonville, Florida; the ABC station in Orlando, the Fox station in Boston; the ABC affiliate in Atlanta; the CBS station in Seattle; and several others.
Unlike the Cox notice, the Hearst warning sounds hopeful of a deal before any blackout would occur.
“While we believe that we and DIRECTV can conclude our negotiations before January 1, so as not to deprive any of our respective viewers and customers of our programming, we want to advise our viewers and customers that the possibility of non-renewal of our current agreement exists,” the notice states.
By federal law, a TV provider can not carry a channel without its consent.
— Phillip Swann