DIRECTV this Monday could lose approximately 60 local TV stations due to a carriage dispute with their owner, Tegna Broadcasting.
The stations have posted notices at their web sites that their signals could be pulled from DIRECTV on Monday at 8 p.m. ET. (AT&T’s U-verse could also lose Tegna stations in the markets it serves; AT&T owns both DIRECTV and U-verse.)
Updated: Tegna said Sunday night that it has agreed to a temporary extension with AT&T, pushing the deadline to Tuesday, December 1, at 7 p.m., ET.
“We have agreed to a temporary extension through Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. to keep our station on DIRECTV and AT&T U-Verse as we continue to work to reach new agreements. We promise to keep you informed as we make every effort to resolve this situation and keep our station on the air,” the Tegna statement reads.
The Tegna stations are in such large markets as Washington, D.C., San Diego, Denver, Phoenix, Tampa, New Orleans, Atlanta, Seattle, Houston, St. Louis as well as mid-size areas such as Austin, Texas, San Angelo, Texas, Macon, Georgia, and Jacksonville, Florida, among others. To see a complete list of the Tegna stations, click here.
AT&T has issued a statement at its web site that criticizes Tegna for alerting its viewers that they could lose their local channels while negotiations are still ongoing.
“We’re disappointed to see TEGNA put our customers into the middle of private negotiations. We want to keep the TEGNA stations in our local lineups. Yet by law, TEGNA has exclusive control over which homes are allowed to receive either ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, or CW in certain cities, regardless of what provider they choose,” the AT&T statement reads.
AT&T does not specify why the two sides are quarreling, but Tegna says AT&T is rejecting terms that even Dish, a known carriage warrior, have accepted.
“We cannot speak for DIRECTV or AT&T U-Verse. But here is what our audience should know: WTLV and WJXX are committed to reaching fair, market-based agreements with all the video service providers in our area. Our track record proves it. Over the past few years, we reached hundreds of multi-year deals with cable and satellite companies all across the country, including DISH, Comcast and many others. It has been disappointing that DIRECTV and AT&T U-Verse, so far, have refused to reach an agreement,” Tegna’s web states.
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— Phillip Swann