DIRECTV tomorrow night could lose two ABC affiliates due to a fee fight with their owner, the Manship family.
The stations, KRGV-TV, the ABC station in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas market, and WBRZ-TV, the ABC station in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, have posted notices at their web sites that their signals could be pulled from DIRECTV at 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday.
Update: The stations have been pulled from DIRECTV.
Before the stations were pulled, Directv issued this statement:
“We want to keep WBRZ and KRGV in our DIRECTV customers’ lineups. Doing so requires permission from their owner, Louisiana Television Broadcasting, since FCC rules grant each station exclusive control over whether it remains available on DIRECTV. Louisiana Television is currently threatening to block WBRZ and KRGV from reaching our customers’ homes unless Louisiana Television receives a significant increase in fees even though the same people can still watch its shows for free over-the-air and, typically, at abc.com or using the WatchABC app. Local stations often create intentional blackouts to boost the fees TV providers pay to keep them in their lineups. Station-induced blackouts are on a record pace in 2017 totaling more than 142 blackouts in 81 cities, and costing more than 18 million families at least some temporary disruption. We’d like to resolve this matter quickly and reasonably, and we appreciate our Baton Rouge customers’ patience while we attempt just that.”
End of Update.
“We are hopeful a new agreement will be timely reached, but the negotiations have reached an impasse and our contract with DIRECTV expires at 10:59 p.m. CT, Friday, April 7, 2017,” the statement reads.
“If you are a DIRECTV satellite subscriber and if we are unable to reach a new agreement with DIRECTV, you will no longer be able to receive (the station) and its top-rated programs including network shows, your local news, weather, sports, and other programming from DIRECTV.”
DIRECTV has not issued a statement at its web site, DIRECTVPromise.com, which is dedicated to communicating news about potential blackouts caused by programming disputes.
The satcaster earlier this week lost 12 local channels in a separate fee fight. That impasse continues this morning.
— Phillip Swann