DIRECTV last night lost two ABC affiliates due to a fee fight with their owner, the Louisiana Television Broadcasting
The stations, KRGV-TV, the ABC station in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas market, and WBRZ-TV, the ABC station in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, last night posted notices at their web sites that DIRECTV subscribers can no longer watch their signals. The companies are arguing over how much DIRECTV should pay to carry the two local channels.
“Negotiations between KRGV and DIRECTV have reached an impasse. DIRECTV subscribers can no longer receive KRGV programming. KRGV continues to negotiate in good faith with DIRECTV and we hope to reach a resolution in a timely manner,” the notice reads. “If you are a DIRECTV satellite subscriber you will no longer be able to receive KRGV and its top-rated programs including network shows, your local news, weather, sports, and other programming from DIRECTV.
Before the stations were pulled, DIRECTV issued this statement in regards to the dispute:
“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.”
The satcaster earlier this week lost six local channels in a separate fee fight. That impasse continues this morning.
— Phillip Swann