DIRECTV today posted a viewer alert at its web site that NBCUniversal had decided to remove all of its programming from the satcaster’s lineup because the companies had not signed a new carriage agreement.
However, the NBC channels have not been removed and there’s no evidence that DIRECTV and NBC are involved in a fee fight, publicly or behind-the-scenes.
Asked about the viewer alert this morning, a DIRECTV spokesman said: “We are always ready with messaging in the event that programming ever comes down. There are no issues in this case. It was posted inadvertently.”
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However, as of 5:15 p.m. ET today, the NBC viewer alert is still up on DIRECTV’s site, prompting a few TV Answer Man readers to send e-mails to yours truly asking if DIRECTV is about to lose the entire NBC lineup. That would be a particularly scary scenario now with the network broadcasting the 2022 Winter Olympics and Sunday’s Super Bowl.
Update, 7:25 p.m. ET: DIRECTV has removed the NBC viewer alert and replaced it with a page containing one word: “Forbidden.”
“Can’t figure out what is going on,” wrote one confused reader.
And it’s not hard to understand why he would be confused. The alert definitely sounds like the NBC channels have been removed.
“Our goal is to provide you with the best in entertainment at a good value. Unfortunately, NBCUniversal chose to suspend its content while we’re still working to finalize a renewal. We understand your frustration, appreciate your patience, and hope to restore your missing channels as soon as possible,” states the DIRECTV alert which recommends several alternatives to NBC’s programming.
Asked this afternoon why the NBC warning has not been taken down if there’s no carriage issue, the DIRECTV spokesman said: “I’m having it pulled down.”
Attempts to reach NBC for an official statement have been unsuccessful. But NBC has not said publicly it’s involved in any carriage negotiation with DIRECTV at this time. The companies last signed a carriage pact more than five years ago.
A few months ago, DIRECTV did publish a viewer alert that said negotiations were underway with NBC for its sister service, U-verse. However, that alert has since been removed and it’s unclear if the negotiations involved DIRECTV and DIRECTV Stream as well since those services do not publish notices of upcoming or ongoing carriage negotiations.
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— Phillip Swann