Update: DIRECTV, AT&T Lose 2 Stations In Fee Fight


DIRECTV and AT&T’s U-verse today lost two local TV stations due to a carriage dispute with their owner, Dispatch Broadcast Group.

The two Dispatch stations are WTHR-TV (NBC affiliate in Indianapolis) and WBNS-TV (CBS affiliate in Columbus, Ohio).

The companies agreed to a temporary extension late last month, but Dispatch issued a notice this afternoon saying the extension had expired and the stations’ signals had been pulled from DIRECTV and AT&T.

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“WTHR has completed numerous retransmission agreements in the past 12 months at fair market rates without any service interruption. Unfortunately, after offering an extension last Friday to hopefully reach a fair market deal, the deadline to reach a fair agreement with DirecTV and AT&T U-verse has passed, resulting in the interruption of service for WTHR viewers who watch our stations on those systems. We will continue to work towards a fair agreement with DirecTV and AT&T U-verse and hope to resolve this situation as soon as possible,” states the notice at the stations’ web sites.

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AT&T, which owns DIRECTV, has yet to comment on the blackout. The TVAnswerman.com has asked AT&T for a comment and will report back here if we receive one.

Update: AT&T has issued a comment:

“We want to get WBNS and WTHR back into our Columbus and Indianapolis customers’ lineups as soon as possible. Doing so requires permission from their owner, Dispatch Video…We share our customers’ frustration at situations like this one that are typically the result of stations owners seeking significant fee increases even though viewers are still able to watch the same programs for free over the air, and often, at network web sites or using the network mobile apps…All Dispatch needs to do is grant its permission, and we can have WBNS and WTHR back into our customers’ home within moments.”

DIRECTV is involved in another carriage dispute with Raycom, but the companies last night agreed to a temporary extension that will keep the Raycom stations on until September 13 at least.

— Phillip Swann

9 comments on “Update: DIRECTV, AT&T Lose 2 Stations In Fee Fight”

  1. No I don’t think you do understand our frustration! With as much money as we pay each month not having access to our local station is ridiculous to viewers. You get paid millions as others are paycheck to paycheck and paying over $300 a month for your service. Unacceptable!

  2. i am very upset my programs i mostly watch are on wthr/me and record i am going to seek other options i am not putting up with this i cant watch what i want in my retirement i feel you broke the contract not me it is very unfair i am angry

  3. We get our CBS channel from WBNS TV. Our son gets his from WTRF TV Wheeling. We only live about 15 miles apart. Why can’t the CBS affiliate in my area be WTRF TV too? I am so sick and tired of this crap happening all the time. I want to watch my shows on CBS.

  4. I agree that this is ridiculous being it’s a local station/channel. And with what we pay for cable per month this is uncalled for! You all are just money hungry and don’t think about where that money is coming from… hard working people who just want the small luxuries of life that they are paying hard earned money for.

  5. Some body help us get a lawyer to do a class action law suit against WTHR and Uverse here in Indiana and with any other locations that are out there. This is so crap. I like so many others are so sick of this. WTHR pulls it programming at the Sunday night football starts along with all the new season of the Fall tv programs. How dumb can you be WTHR? I hope all the advertisers pull there money from you and your owners. You can not win this battle. ATT has so much to offer, and you are an ant in this big ole world. You are just causing people to hate you and hope all the good shows and sports leave your a$$!

  6. It is definitely time for WTHR to get off the dime and get an agreement made. Not having TV service provided by WTHR and U-Verse is unacceptable. We pay a hefty fee for this every month. I would hate to have to buy an antenna tower and rely on a fringe area signal here in Muncie for good reception.

  7. I believe I am done with Uverse, this has gone on too long. We are paying for a service we are not receiving, and that breaks any contractual obligation. If I do go to another provider, I will only watch CBS originated programming, nothing locally originated, and I will let your advertisers know also.

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