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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