DIRECTV and its owner, AT&T, have been involved in numerous carriage disputes with local broadcasters in the last few weeks. So I thought it would be helpful to offer this scorecard to each fee fight with the latest information on where it stands.
DIRECTV vs. Meredith Broadcasting
DIRECTV on Friday night quietly signed a new carriage deal with the 17 Meredith-owned local stations, averting a blackout shortly before the old agreement was set to expire. I say ‘quietly’ because neither company even thought to issue a press release informing viewers of the deal, although both delivered scary viewer warnings prior to the new agreement.
DIRECTV and AT&T’s U-verse vs. Dispatch Broadcast Group
DIRECTV and AT&T’s U-verse have been without two Dispatch-owned local stations — WTHR-TV (NBC affiliate in Indianapolis) and WBNS-TV (CBS affiliate in Columbus, Ohio) — since September 6 due to a fee fight. There are no indications that an agreement is close, although carriage negotiations can heat up at a moment’s notice.
DIRECTV vs. Raycom
DIRECTV’s pact with Raycom expires Monday, September 25, and if a new deal is not reached by then, the satcaster could lose more than 40 Raycom-owned local stations. The two companies have already agreed to several temporary extensions in the old carriage agreement.
AT&T’s U-verse vs. Capitol Broadcasting
AT&T’s U-verse TV service has been without three Capitol Broadcasting-owned local stations — WRAL, the NBC affiliate in Raleigh, North Carolina, WILM, an independent station in Wilmington, North Carolina, and WRAZ-TV, the Fox affiliate in Raleigh, North Carolina — since September 13 due to a carriage dispute. There are no indications that an agreement is close.
DIRECTV & U-verse vs. American Spirit Media
DIRECTV last week lost seven local stations owned by American Spirit Media while U-verse lost four owned by the broadcaster.
— Phillip Swann