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DIRECTV vs. Nexstar: When Will It End?

Q. I have been without my CBS station here in Fresno for more than a month. I have DIRECTV. Is there any chance these two fools will make a deal soon. I miss my favorite newscasters on the local news. — Trudy, Fresno. 

Trudy, as you note, on July 3, DIRECTV lost 120 Nexstar-owned local stations due to a carriage dispute between its owner, AT&T, and the broadcaster. The stations include network affiliates for CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC and the CW. (The blackout also affects the AT&T-owned DIRECTV Now and U-verse.)

DIRECTV is entangled in a similar carriage dispute with CBS-owned local stations in 16 markets, and yesterday, I published an article predicting that the blackout will likely not end until the start of the 2019 NFL regular season in September.

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The reason, in part, is that August is a slow month for television viewing so there’s less pressure now on both sides to reach a deal. However, when football starts next month, and the networks begin premiering new shows for the 2019-2020 season, that dynamic will change quickly.

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The same logic applies for the DIRECTV-Nexstar fee fight. I do not foresee the two companies reaching a deal in August.

But I’m also not confident that they will reach a deal in early September, either.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said last week that the gap between what Nexstar wants and what AT&T will pay is significant. But Stephenson said his company is close to reaching an agreement with the CBS-owned stations, and he’s hopeful it will come sooner than later.

Why does Stephenson sound more optimistic about the CBS-owned stations?

There’s arguably more pressure on AT&T to reach a deal with the CBS-owned affiliates because most of them are in large population centers, and they include two important media and financial markets, New York and Los Angeles.

Update: AT&T settled with the CBS-owned stations on August 8.

But Nexstar’s stations are largely in small-to-mid-sized markets which are often ignored by the media and financial analysts.

That may seem unfair, but it’s how corporations often think. They are acutely aware of how their actions will be portrayed in the media and Wall Street analysts. If AT&T doesn’t make a deal with Nexstar, it’s less likely to be noticed by the media, and therefore, less likely to be an issue with shareholders.

Consequently, I’m afraid the Nexstar-DIRECTV blackout could extend until late September, or even beyond that.

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— Phillip Swann

About TV Answer Man (1687 Articles)
The TV Answer Man is veteran journalist Phillip Swann who has covered the TV technology scene for more than two decades. He will report on the latest news and answer your questions regarding new devices and services that are changing the way you watch television.

40 Comments on DIRECTV vs. Nexstar: When Will It End?

  1. James Bracewell // August 7, 2019 at 5:38 pm // Reply

    I have a answer for the squable between at&t and nexstar. Its call comcast

    • Denita Thomas // August 8, 2019 at 9:02 pm // Reply

      I think it’s sad that we paying for channel we can’t see over sum bullshit. I think it’s time to find me another cable company that can satisfy there customer.

  2. Helen Buchanan // August 7, 2019 at 6:29 pm // Reply

    This whole mess is reduculas , these companies are going to loose customer’s . I guess they don’t care about the bottom line the cusumer, hurry up and bring back our service I’m over this mess .

  3. Cheryl vanasse // August 7, 2019 at 6:39 pm // Reply

    Have not had NBC since july 4th. Direct TV and nexstar stop being so greedy. North port fl

    • Martha Edwards // August 9, 2019 at 7:02 pm // Reply

      We live in a rural area with no cable. It is Directv or Dish only, and I am sick and tired of being in our second month with no ABC station! I will switch to Dish if this isn’t Resolved in the next week or so. I am fed up.

  4. If it lasts that long I will get a new service – I am sick of AT&T not giving us cbs – they are breeching their contract & need to settle this soon or they will lose a lot of customers & Cbd is also making people mad – the advertisers should be angry also since this affects 6 1/2 million people

  5. Gloria Gunther // August 7, 2019 at 8:08 pm // Reply

    DirecTV already raise my bill 5.00 per month when they blocked CBS.my family members are not receiving NBC or ABC from at &t.so if they settle with CBS will NBC and ABC be next.

  6. Shelly Montrell Collins // August 7, 2019 at 9:18 pm // Reply

    This is ridiculous, that the customers are the ones that’s affected by this. I’m to the point where I’m going to leave AT&T/Directtv cause I’m disgusted about not seeing The Young & The Restless. I am one mad customer.

  7. If I don’t get Abc soon I will move to dish. I missed half of the season of the Batchelorette and now I’m missing Batchelor in Paradise.

  8. Holly Alexander // August 7, 2019 at 11:51 pm // Reply

    My question is this: How do I join/start a class action lawsuit against DirectNoTv?? They’re already in the midst of at least one unrelated class action lawsuit. I pay $145/mo for which I receive NO movie channels, NO premium channels, NO NFL Sunday Ticket and NO CBS. Honestly, Mr. “Answer Man”, I don’t believe you when you tell us that you think the situation will be resolved “eventually”. So, please advise me on the steps necessary to file a lawsuit against my soon to be FORMER provider. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

  9. For the amount of money that I pay monthly for DirecTV, I should NOT have any channels blacked out! I’m calling my local cable company and definitely switching!

    • Cindy Lengel // August 22, 2019 at 11:06 am // Reply

      I’m interested in this as well. We’ve had directv for years. Box was old and not working properly. Only way to get a new one was to take a new contract. Now 7 months later (started at 5 months into contract) I do t have access to a major network that carries most of the shows I watch. I don’t fell I should have to honor my contract if they aren’t honoring theirs. They want $340 to end my contract! This is BS!!

  10. It will end with the customer paying more because of greed in today’s business.

  11. I have been round and round about this. I am a DirecTV subscriber in one of those middle sized cities, AND I am an AT&T stockholder. The main problem I have is that neither side accepts that they are the hold-up. Both sides say that it is the other’s fault. I would like for someone to tell me who is telling the truth. I did let the DirecTV CSR that I have never had this kind of drawn out issue, until AT&T took over DirecTV.

  12. cindy Clark // August 8, 2019 at 2:29 pm // Reply

    I am tired of being without CBS here in Eastern North Carolina. DirecTV, At&t both acting like kids. We paid big money each month to have the programs we want and you take it upon yourself to take that away from us after we have paid our monthly bills. Do we get our accounts credited for this loss of service, not at the rate that we pay you, the very minimum. You are being unfair to your customers, we were promised as long as bills were paid we would have continued services, you have lied and breached our contracts. Do you not understand that YOU have broken our contracts, if we were to break it we would be fined big dollars… Now time for your customers to get their just dues!!!!

  13. Barb Jacobs // August 8, 2019 at 3:07 pm // Reply

    Is Nexstar having their local channels which are in dispute with Directv turn off streaming during the day and back on in evening? My local ABC has been doing that and blaming it on repairs but I have a hard time believing that!

  14. Elfreda Davis // August 8, 2019 at 4:30 pm // Reply

    They need to give us credit on our bills. Or do a class action suit. This is crazy. They just got power and using it. Like a kid having temper tantrum.

  15. Billy Miller // August 8, 2019 at 4:33 pm // Reply

    Four years ago, I relocated from Florida to Tennessee. I decided to go with satellite service and chose Dish, as Direct Tv was in a contract dispute. Two years later, Dish entered into a contract dispute, so I switched to Direct Tv. No more satellite service for me, switching to cable, Spectrum. And, as a 20+ year customer of wireless service with AT&T, I am strongly considering switching my cell phone wireless as well. Bye, Bye AT&T! Bigger is not necessarily better.

  16. Customers should not have to pay a bill since thwy can’t see the stations they pick.

  17. I
    We are an elderly couple and tv is very important to us. We watch and tape so many CBS shows. We are discussed with Directv and we are thinking of changing to Dish. Get your customers first in your mind now or we’re bye-bye.

    • J. W. Deere // August 17, 2019 at 4:58 pm // Reply

      I am ready to cancel my Directv just trying to decide on cable or move to Dish. It has been over two months with no NBC available. I have some AT&T stock but also considering selling that and going elsewhere for phones etc.

  18. Eileen Schnettler // August 9, 2019 at 5:06 pm // Reply

    Living in the Buffalo NY area we want Directv and Nextar to end this impasse
    We want out local CBS affiliate to return to the line up.. if not … Directv will be on the losing end … this coming from a longtime customer!! Get your acts together !!

  19. I’ve been with direct tv for 20 years and since at&t has taken over I’m ready to go somewhere else. Bill in one month has doubled and then not getting CBS is icing on the proverbial cake.

  20. When Direct TV started my service over 15 years ago they required me to go into a contract with them. In that contract was the requirement for Direct TV to provide ALL LOCAL NETWORK PROGRAMMING for my package. Now who is breaking the contract? Every person who has Direct TV should receive free service until they begin providing the entire product they are paid to produce.

    • Laura Rogers // August 14, 2019 at 6:14 am // Reply

      Have not had my local channel since July 4th. It’s sad that companies treat their customers the way they do. I live in the country and rely on my local channel for news weather and my favorite programs. Please reach a decision soon or I may have yo go to another service.

  21. Kyle "Scot" Reynolds // August 10, 2019 at 9:06 pm // Reply

    DirectTV is in direct violation of a legal contract to provide services. I am currently already paying a monthly fee for local service, which I am not getting. Nexstar AND ATT should both be reported to the FCC. If I didn’t faithfully pay my monthly bill I would be socked with a late fee. In a word, they simply don’t care. A class action suit should be considered; this is theft!

  22. I have been a subscriber to Directv for 14 years.I am so tired of all the negotiation disputes every few years.The rates are constantly going up and we have to deal with local stations like CW,NBC and CBS being
    blacked out for sever weeks.The new season premieres will begin in September and I will be missing all the shows I love to watch.End this mess now!!!!!

  23. Laura Rogers // August 11, 2019 at 3:22 pm // Reply

    I am from North Carolina and I have been without my local CBS channels since the 4th of July . i live in the country and relie on my local channel for information on what’s going on in my area. I do t have internet because I can’t afford it I am on a fixed income. It’s sad you have to wait and get your local channel back because of a few dollars. Come on now we pay good money to watch what we watch .or not watching.

  24. Jesse Collins // August 11, 2019 at 9:29 pm // Reply

    I live inPortland Tn and have been a directv fir a number of years. I have been without ABC
    For awhile. Football season is coming very shortly. I am paying y’all for the ABC network. If i do not get ABC very shortly, I may be forced to look for another provider. I am paying y’all for something that I am not getting. Please reply ASAP to JLCollins1946@gmail.com.

  25. Annie Schermerhorn // August 12, 2019 at 12:35 pm // Reply

    I’m tired of these two babies having their tantrum. GET OVER YOUR GREEDY SELVES! ATT has taken over everyone and have ruined Directv because their U-Verse sucks. We, the customers no longer given any negotiation ability to reduce cost. I am looking into Dish package options and will be cancelling Directv, Wifi, landline and cell phone services very soon. CBS & NBC are FREE channels so shouldn’t have to pay for them in first place.

  26. We have not had ABC for two months. Either fix the situation or loose a lot of customers!! Football season is coming and lots are on abc so you will have a lot of mad customers. PLEASE get this fixed it’s been TOO long!

  27. We are in Tampa and received the antenna from Directv. It does not pick up the NBC station we are not getting. The NFL season is coming up and perhaps this unfair dispute will end. We are still paying for this channel that we are not getting. Very angry at both sides. No NFL and more customers will bail from Directv.

  28. Gail S Blackburn // August 14, 2019 at 1:18 pm // Reply

    My local NBC station (channel 24 in Memphis), owned by Nexstar, can’t even give an update on negotiations with ATT/Directv. I did file a complaint with the FCC but it didn’t do any good. They forwarded my complaint to ATT and after speaking with a man who worked in the office of the President of ATT, he wasn’t any help either. ATT/Directv has 2 weeks to resolve their negotiations or I am definitely switching to Dish. ATT/Directv is holding their customers as hostage and I’m fed up with their service & also with constant price increases. ATT has, and always will be, a greedy company, serving only themselves with no concern for their customers. Guess I can use my Directv satellite dish as a birdbath 😀

  29. Mahala Elliott // August 16, 2019 at 10:20 pm // Reply

    I to have been without my CBS station since July 4th and I am getting pretty upset with Directv and Nexstar. This is just stupid, thought when they settled with CBS that we wild get the channel back,but NO , not happening . Called Directv to ask why it hasn’t come back on when others have and all he could say was just give it a few more days, well that was well over a week ago, still no CBS. I mean the guy couldn’t even tell it to me strait that they haven’t settled with Nexstar. So he basically lyed about the whole thing. I found out that they haven’t settled with Nexstar by going on Google to see what is going on. I have been with them for over 15 years and since AT&T took over my bill has done nothing but go higher and we were supposed to get a credit for military, but haven’t seen it at all. I’m just ready to leave and go to Dish, and that is my only other choice, we can’t get cable live in the country .

  30. Bring back abc to livingston montana it’s been dense July 4th

  31. Spencer Karter // August 18, 2019 at 11:53 am // Reply

    I disagree with your prediction. I want my CBS and CW stations back on DIRECTV. I don’t want the blackout to exceed more than 50-days or 100-days. We live in a moderate-to-bad over the air TV reception area. I don’t like bad news, I don’t like dire warnings! SMH!

  32. Michael Fay // August 18, 2019 at 1:19 pm // Reply

    I live outside the Corning, NY area in a valley. In my situation it’s either satellite or cable, since an antenna does not work, unless I want to put up one with an aircraft warning light on it. I agree with everyone here that this is absurd. If the Nexstar and AT&T people can’t negotiate for what is basically a free service to the public, although paid for by advertisers, those businesses should put their dollars to work elsewhere and pull their ads. Perhaps that would wake up the upper management at Nexstar.

  33. Unsatisfied customer // August 24, 2019 at 2:29 pm // Reply

    I contacted DTV today, informed them (supervisor) I’d no longer be paying my monthly bill. He asked if I was requesting to be disconnected, when I answered no he was obviously confused. I told him I fully expected to be disconnected after missing a payment but my hope was that the Billing Department was as inept as their Business Department. Therefore I may actually receive their partial service for free for several months. I explained that it seemed only fair me, he didn’t argue.

  34. DirecTV sent my neighbor an adaptor which is an antenna that plugs into their DVR using USB. They have their missing Nexstar NBC station back in the program guide, and apparently can also record shows to their DVR. From what I understand, their adaptor only works with the highest-end (newest) receivers. I think they called it an Antenna Kit or Over-The-Air Kit. Either way, my neighbor is satisfied while AT&T and Nexstar battle over pennies per subscriber, per month (Millions of Dollars), and I wonder if they’re fighting over future ATSC 3.0 retransmission rights?

  35. This pissing contest between AT&T and Nexstar is getting old. I have had Direct TV since 2007 and am considering switching to Spectrum due to this pissing contest, since 6 of my fall shows will not be aired even though I am paying for them. Why doesn’t AT&T give it subscribers another station that isn’t owned by bully Nexstar? Money, Money Money that is all it is about, screw the consumer as much as you can.

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