Update: On June 9, Lilly Broadcasting removed the viewer alert from its web sites, suggesting the companies have resolved the dispute for now. The TV Answer Man will update this story if we get more information.
DIRECTV could lose five network affiliates and two CW stations next week due to a fee fight with their owner, Lilly Broadcasting.
Lilly has posted a viewer alert at its station web sites that says DIRECTV subscribers could lose the channels beginning on June 10. The channels affected in the dispute include: WSEE-TV (CBS affiliate in Erie, Pennsylvania); WICU-TV (NBC affiliate in Erie); WENY (CBS, ABC affiliates in Elmira, New York); and KITV-TV (ABC in Honolulu, Hawaii.). There are also CW stations in Erie and Elmira.
“Lilly Broadcasting…is continuing its efforts to renew its carriage agreement with DIRECTV after reaching an impasse,” the notice states. “The Lilly Broadcasting negotiating team has been ready and available around-the-clock to engage in substantive negotiations with DIRECTV — In hopes of concluding a fair agreement that reflects the current marketplace.”
AT&T’s web site for carriage disputes has yet to post a statement regarding the Lilly situation. The two companies locked horns in a carriage battle in 2017 which led to a two-week blackout before it was settled.
Lilly’s statement alleges that DIRECTV has been involved in more carriage battles than any other pay TV operator, although that is actually DIRECTV’s satellite rival, Dish.
“In the end, DIRECTV’s tactics will hurt their subscribers and you—our viewers. DIRECTV is making subscribers pay for programming they are not receiving. That just isn’t fair,” the statement charges.
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— Phillip Swann