DIRECTV today lost 26 local TV stations due to a carriage dispute with their owner, Mission Broadcasting. The blackout also affects DIRECTV Stream and U-verse.
The stations, which are managed by Nexstar, are in 26 markets including New York. Providence, Rhode Island, Little Rock, Albuquerque, Abilene, Texas, Albany, New York and Erie, Pennsylvania, among others. You can see a complete list here.
“WNAC and DirecTV have a contract that allows them to carry our programming to you,” the Mission-owned Fox station in Providence states at its web site. “That contract has expired and DirecTV removed WNAC from your schedule. WNAC has presented a proposal for fair value, based on the importance and value our programming brings to our viewers. Despite our tireless efforts, DirecTV has refused our fair offer and is making negotiations very difficult. You might have seen them do this before. They will tell you it’s for your benefit, but don’t believe it. Our offer is fair. And now they hold you the subscriber hostage. It’s not right.”
DIRECTV has not issued a statement as of 5:30 p.m. ET. The TV Answer Man will report back here if we receive a statement.
Update: DIRECTV this evening issued this statement:
“Unfortunately, Mission Broadcasting and its 25 stations operated by Nexstar Media Group decided to exercise their right to block access to our customers in 23 cities. By law, Mission can refuse any compromise we offer and has the right to suspend any station from our customers’ local channel lineup – which we had wanted to avoid. We continue to work toward an agreement to deliver the entertainment our customers want at the best possible value. More information is available on TVPromise.com.”
Mission’s stations are managed by Nexstar which also owns a station in most Mission markets. Nexstar is involved in a separate carriage dispute with Verizon with 13 local stations in 11 markets blacked out in the FiOS lineup due to a fight over fees.
The TV Answer Man will update this story if we receive additional statements or information regarding the blackout.
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— Phillip Swann