DIRECTV Loses Another Local Channel In Fee Fight


DIRECTV yesterday lost the NBC affiliate in Rapid City, South Dakota due to a fee fight with its owner, the Rapid Broadcasting Company.

The station, KNBN-TV, posted a notice on its web site, notifying viewers of the interruption.

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“At midnight, Jan. 1, 2018, DIRECTV removed NewsCenter1 (KNBN-TV), the Black Hills-area NBC affiliate and exclusive home of Super Bowl LI and the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, and MyNetwork programming from the channel line-ups of customers in the region. KNBN-TV, the area’s only locally owned media outlet, has been actively negotiating with DirecTV, but was unable to come to an agreement prior to the expiration of the contract,” the notice states.

DIRECTV has not issued a comment on the dispute. It should be noted, though, that DIRECTV did not remove the station. By law, a pay TV provider can not carry a station or channel without its permission. In this case, KNBN is withholding that permission because DIRECTV refuses to pay what the station considers a fair price for its signal.

This is not the only current carriage dispute involving DIRECTV and its owner, AT&T.

AT&T and DIRECTV are still involved in a carriage fight with American Spirit Media which has now lasted for more than three months.


DIRECTV subscribers are missing seven local stations due to the American Spirit Media battle, which began on September 21.

The seven stations are:

KAUZ (CBS affiliate) in Wichita Falls, Texas
WDBD (Fox affiliate) in Jackson, Mississippi
KVHP (Fox) in Lake Charles, Louisiana
WSFX (Fox) in Wilmington, North Carolina
WUPW (Fox) in Toledo, Ohio
WXTX (Fox) in Columbus, Georgia
WUPV (CW affiliate) in Richmond, Virginia

In addition, AT&T, which owns DIRECTV, and negotiates its carriage agreements, is missing four American Spirit Media locals due to the same fee fight. The stations are in Columbus, Jackson, Toledo and Wilmington.

And DIRECTV subscribers are still without KFVE-TV, an independent station in Honolulu, due to a separate carriage dispute which began in late October.

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— Phillip Swann

4 comments on “DIRECTV Loses Another Local Channel In Fee Fight”

  1. We Rapid City DIrect TV customers are not hearing anything about progress (or not) on this issue. I would think this has an impact on advertising revenue. An e-mail to Rapid Broadcasting has so far gone unanswered. With the Olympics and Super Bowl coming up, you’d think an agreement would be in everyone’s best interest.

  2. We live in Lawton,OK and when Kauz & Directv failed to negotiate an agreement with American Spirit Media on Sept 21st, 2017, we lost Channel 6 (CBS) and Channel 5. Since we had a Bundle with AT&T that includes our home phone, cell phones, internet & Directv. When we spoke with AT&T, they stated that we could not cancel our contract or get any reduction in our monthly cost of Directv. This is so wrong because CBS is a free television station that is supported by advertising/commercials. The FCC needs to step in and control & regulate this outrageous request for the charges being put upon these small broadcasters such as KAUZ in Wichita Falls, Texas. We are becoming hostages be American Spirit Media for them to overcharge these smaller broadcaster. Please help us?

  3. I have filed online complaints with the FCC against both Direct TV and the local NBC affiliate. I have heard back from DIrect TV both e-mail and phone call. I have not yet heard from local affiliate. But I am getting “we are in negotiations” statements rather than hard facts about the issues. I plan to escalate to my congresspeople if not resolved soon.

  4. This is the response from FCC when I tried to file a complaint with them about my broadcaster (not Direct TV). Essentially says I have no say in the issue. At the time I had already filed my complaint with the FCC about Direct TV …and had actually received a response from them as shown in my previous response above. Sounds like the left hand at FCC does not know what the right is doing…or they like broadcasters better than satellite providers.

    So I plan to watch the Superbowl at my local VFW scholarship fundraiser on Feb 4. I guess my wife will watch the Hallmark Movies and Mystery Channel (HMM) which I now have to pay for too.

    “Federal law does not permit a cable or satellite TV company to carry a broadcast television station unless the station has agreed to be carried. Federal law also permits broadcast television stations to demand compensation from the cable or satellite TV company in exchange for agreeing to be carried. This is known as “retransmission consent.” If the station and the company do not agree on the type/amount of compensation, the station cannot be carried. Similarly with cable networks, these are private negotiations between the owner of the network and the cable or satellite provider. If they are unable to reach an agreement, then the cable network cannot be carried. If either party to the retransmission consent negotiation (the broadcaster or cable/satellite provider) believes that negotiations are not being conducted in good faith, our rules allow them to file a good-faith complaint with the Commission. But only the parties to the negotiation may file a complaint. You may want to contact both your broadcaster and DirecTV to urge them to restore the signal.”

    Henry Whitney
    Custer SD

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