DIRECTV has sued Nexstar, Mission Broadcasting and White Knight Broadcasting, alleging the three companies have violated anti-trust law in a scheme to pump up carriage fees for local network affiliates.
The satcaster, and its sister services, U-verse and DIRECTV Stream, have been without Mission’s 26 local stations and White Knight’s three stations since October due to separate carriage disputes. However, DIRECTV has maintained that Nexstar, which serves as the operating business for both station groups, has pulled the strings behind the scenes of the negotiations and forced the two companies to seek higher fees.
In the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, DIRECTV charges that Nexstar’s role has denied it “a fair competitive process that has resulted in higher prices being demanded of it and lost profits.”
Nexstar, Mission and White Knight have yet to issue a comment, but the latter two groups have said they are only seeking a fair market rate for their signals.
The DIRECTV lawsuit strikes at a recurring complaint from pay TV operators that local broadcasters are demanding excessive fees to carry their signals. The escalating fees, the pay TV services say, force them to raise their customer’s monthly bills, causing many subscribers to cut the cord.
While DIRECTV is not accusing other companies of conspiracy in raising the fees, the satcaster is clearly saying that the playing field needs to be leveled.
“DIRECTV today took a stand for its customers by mounting a legal challenge against a conspiracy among three broadcasters to illegally increase content costs for free over-the-air TV,” the company stated in a press release. “The fees distributors pay for permission to offer their customers local broadcast stations have soared more than 5,000 percent in the past 17 years and is the single largest source of rising costs facing video consumers today. When any distributors resist extreme rate increases, Nexstar and other broadcast giants act as a gateway to black out key content from consumers living within any regions they are exclusively licensed to serve, and levy far higher tolls to bring that programming back.”
The TV Answer Man will update this story if we receive additional statements or information regarding the blackouts.
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Amusing … We just finally cut the cord on Directv. Too little too late on their actions. This on top of killing OAN and Newsmax… after over 23 years with Directv and their rising prices to loyal customers… We are done. Yippee
ALL the pay services, Cable and Satellite,
NEED to JOIN FORCES against the Providers
and DEMAND they CUT their OUTRAGEOUS Charges.
There NEVER should have been any Charge for Local Channels.
They are FREE over the Air,
Also DEMAND a MAJOR cut from ALL Providers for ALL Channels.
If they DON’T, TV as we know it today, will be History.
Have the FCC REGULATE ALL TV Services.
We can NOT Trust any of them
Feel Nancie Smith & Dennis Thatcher-Mission Broadcasting & Toby Malara & Sheldon Galloway-White Knight Broadcasting been using both Duane Lammers Max Retrans & Eric Sahl Shoebridge Knowles Media Group both combined altogether as the reason why DIRECTV and DISH is not able to carry the Mission and White Knight TV stations. If Mission and White Knight has no intention of letting allowing DIRECTV and DISH to carry the Mission and White Knight TV stations ever again, recommend Mission and White Knight be better offing selling the TV stations right now if Mission and White Knight has no intention of letting allowing DIRECTV and DISH to carry the Mission and White Knight TV stations ever again because Nancie Smith & Dennis Thatcher-Mission Broadcasting & Toby Malara & Sheldon Galloway-White Knight Broadcasting would rather keep continuing on using both Duane Lammers Max Retrans & Eric Sahl Shoebridge Knowles Media Group both combined altogether to assist Mission and White Knight for their retransmission consent negotiating needs. Nancie Smith & Dennis Thatcher-Mission Broadcasting & Toby Malara & Sheldon Galloway-White Knight Broadcasting be better selling all of the TV stations right now to someone else that who would be willing to deal with very stiff concessions including pledging and promising to permanently fire cut ties terminate and or never ever agreed to right now use Duane Lammers Max Retrans, Eric Sahl Shoebridge Knowles Media Group. ATV Broadcast, Symphony Media Audit International and or other middleman consultants right now for middleman consultants to assist broadcasters and broadcasting group for their retransmission consent negotiating needs right now.
WHY do the Local Stations allow them to continue doing this ?
It is NOT doing the Stations any good.
WHY does anyone NEED them ?
This current model is out of date. These companies use this method to pay shareholders . It is for the PUBLIC INTREST