TV Answer Man, don’t tell me that DIRECTV has a new deal with Fox because we still can’t watch our Fox station. I don’t believe there is a new agreement. You’re wrong!! — Talia, Providence, Rhode Island.
Talia, DIRECTV yesterday signed a new multi-year carriage agreement with Fox that allows it to continue carrying FS1, FS2, the Big Ten Network, Fox Deportes, and Fox Soccer Plus as well as Fox-owned network affiliates in 18 markets.
That’s a fact. But there’s a reason why you still can’t watch your Fox affiliate in Providence — and why other DIRECTV subscribers can’t watch more than a dozen other Fox stations. They are part of different carriage disputes.
In your case, DIRECTV has been without 25 Mission Broadcasting-owned local stations (including 12 Fox affiliates) since October 21 when the two sides could not reach a new carriage deal. In addition, the satcaster has been without two White Knight-owned stations since October 7 in a separate fee fight — a NBC station in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and a Fox station in Tyler/Longview, Texas.
The Fox agreement signed yesterday does not cover the Mission or White Knight stations because Fox does not own them; they just simply license them as their affiliates, providing them with the programming and support they need to run a ‘Fox station.’ The Mission and White Knight carriage arrangements with DIRECTV must be worked out in separate negotiations, which is why they are currently blacked out on DIRECTV. (The blackouts also affect the DIRECTV-owned DIRECTV Stream and U-verse.)
There is no indication that an agreement in either dispute is imminent. DIRECTV and the broadcasters have exchanged harsh words in public statements during the blackout but that’s somewhat par for the course. What’s more important to note is that the blackouts are almost two months old, which is not par for the course for a local station dispute for DIRECTV. That’s not a good sign that a deal is forthcoming.
The TV Answer Man will continue to monitor these fee fights and report back here if anything significant changes. Until then, happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann