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Hearst Stations Back On DIRECTV

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Hearst stations this morning posted a notice at their web site that they have been returned to DIRECTV’s lineup after a six-day blackout due to a fee fight.

It’s unclear if the two companies have reached a final agreement, or if this is an extension in the old pact while negotiations continue. An AT&T spokesperson was not available for comment this morning while the Hearst notice did not say if the channels returning means a long-term pact has been reached.

Update: A source close to the talks tells us that the dispute has been resolved.

“We regret the inconvenience to DIRECTV subscribers and are indebted to them and all of our advertisers for their support,” Hearst president Jordan Wertlieb states in the short web notice.

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Regardless of the circumstances, the return is good news for DIRECTV viewers of 33 Hearst-owned local stations, some of which this weekend will air NFL playoff games and the Golden Globes awards. The 33 Hearst stations that have been blacked out on DIRECTV include the ABC affiliate in Boston; the NBC station in New Orleans, and the NBC affiliate i Baltimore.

The stations have been off the satcaster’s lineup since early January 1 when the old agreement expired and the two companies could not reach a new deal.

— Phillip Swann