News-Press & Gazette is accusing DIRECTV of purposely delaying negotiations to reach a new carriage pact that would end the blackout of 18 local stations in the satcaster’s lineup.
The News-Press & Gazette stations have been off DIRECTV since Thursday night (January 12) when the two companies broke off talks.
The broadcaster yesterday afternoon posted a new notice at its web site that says DIRECTV has refused to respond to its latest offer. (The two sides are fighting over how much the satcaster should pay to carry the channels.).
“Our negotiators remain ready and willing to continue to negotiate to end the current service disruption. DIRECTV’s delay tactics are preventing you from getting your station back on their system. They appear not to care that you are missing your favorite news, weather and sports personalities, your favorite programming, and the NFL playoff games!” the notice reads.
Viewer anger over the blackout has risen this weekend with the airing of the NFL playoff games. In fact, actor Rob Lowe, a former DIRECTV spokesman, even criticized his former employer on Twitter.
DIRECTV, or its owner, AT&T, have not issued a response to the latest accusation from News-Press & Gazette. But it should be noted that Hearst this month made a similar claim of DIRECTV foot-dragging shortly before it reached a new carriage deal with the satcaster.
AT&T has said News-Press & Gazette is seeking excessive carriage fees, a charge denied by the broadcaster..
The stations affected in this dispute are located in such mid-sized markets as Palm Springs, California; Bend, Oregon, Idaho Falls, Idaho; Colorado Springs, Colorado; El Paso, Texas; Santa Barbara, California; Columbia, Missouri and Yuma, Arizona. To see a complete list of the stations that could be affected, click here.
— Phillip Swann