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DIRECTV Avoids Raycom Blackout — For Now

AT&T has signed another temporary agreement with Raycom Media to keep its 40-plus local stations in DIRECTV’s lineup.

The new deadline for a carriage deal is tomorrow (Wednesday, September 27) at 8 p.m. ET. If a new agreement is not signed by then, Raycom could pull its network affiliates from the satcaster, which is owned by AT&T.

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This is at least the fifth temporary extension the companies have agreed to since the old carriage arrangement expired on August 31. DIRECTV and Raycom are fighting over how much the satcaster should pay to carry the broadcaster’s signals.

By law, a TV provider can not carry a channel without the permission of its owner.

Raycom has stations in large, mid-sized and small markets such as Tucson, Richmond, Virginia, New Orleans, Cleveland and Honolulu.


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Meanwhile, DIRECTV is still missing two Dispatch-owned local stations — WTHR-TV (NBC affiliate in Indianapolis) and WBNS-TV (CBS affiliate in Columbus, Ohio) — due to a separate fee fight.

The satellite TV service is also without seven American Spirit Media-owned local stations in yet another carriage dispute. (AT&T’s U-verse is missing four stations in the same fee fight. ).

The seven include five Fox affiliates, one CBS affiliate, and one CW affiliate in such markets as Richmond, Virginia, Wichita Falls, Texas, Toledo, Ohio, and Wilmington, North Carolina.

The AT&T/DIRECTV-American Spirit Media dispute began on September 21.

And, finally, 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.

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— Phillip Swann