Meredith Broadcasting’s 17 local stations have removed a viewer warning from their web sites that DIRECTV subscriberDs could lose their signals tonight.
UPDATE: Art Slusark, a Meredith spokesman, tells the TV Answer Man that his company does have a deal with Directv and it’s a permanent one, not temporary.
The action could suggest Meredith and AT&T, the owner of DIRECTV, have either reached a permanent carriage deal or have agreed to a temporary extension. The deadline for the current carriage pact was today.
Meredith this week posted the notice at its station web sites that it was unclear if it would reach an agreement with AT&T prior to the expiration of the current deal. Consequently, Meredith alerted DIRECTV’s viewers they could lose their signals.
The TV Answer Man has asked press office for both Meredith and AT&T for an update and will report back here if we receive one tonight.
Update: As of 6 a.m. ET on Saturday, spokespeople for Meredith and AT&T have not responded to our inquiries. There is also no indication that any of Meredith signals have been removed from DIRECTV’s lineup, and the viewer warnings are still down at the Meredith station sites. We will update this story when we get more information.
Meredith has local stations in such large markets as Phoenix, Kansas City, St. Louis, Nashville, Atlanta and Las Vegas. See a complete list of Meredith local stations here.
Meanwhile, AT&T and DIRECTV are involved in several other carriage disputes. DIRECTV has been without two Dispatch Broadcasting-owned local stations for nearly two weeks due; AT&T is missing three Capitol Broadcasting-owned stations in North Carolina; and DIRECTV’s temporary carriage pact with Raycom expires on Monday; without a new deal, DIRECTV could lose more than 40 Raycom stations.
In addition, AT&T last night lost four American Spirit Media-owned local channels last night and DIRECTV lost seven due to yet another fee fight.
— Phillip Swann