News-Press & Gazette says DIRECTV has made a counter-offer in their carriage dispute, but claims the proposal is “well below” what other pay TV providers have already agreed to pay for their 18 local stations.
The News-Press channels have been off DIRECTV since January 12 when the two companies broke off talks. And the broadcaster claimed earlier this week that the satcaster has refused to negotiate since the blackout began.
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But in a web notice posted yesterday, News-Press said DIRECTV has finally submitted an offer in response to its proposal made prior to the blackout.
“Unfortunately, this offer was still well below terms offered by all other cable and satellite providers,” News-Press & Gazette states. “It is clear that DIRECTV is drawing this negotiation out in an effort to gain an advantage based on their size and scale, all the while depriving you of the content you pay for on your bill every month.”
TVAnswerMan.com has asked AT&T, which owns DIRECTV, for a response to the charge and will report back here if we get one.
Update: An AT&T spokesperson says, “We have been in continual discussions with News-Press & Gazette and remain available at any time.”
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Viewer anger over the blackout rose last 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.
AT&T has said News-Press & Gazette is seeking excessive carriage fees, a charge denied by the broadcaster.
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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.