By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman
TV Answer Man, do you know if DIRECTV could lose WPIX in the fight with Nexstar? Is that one of the local stations that could go away? — Marcus, Brooklyn.
Marcus, Nexstar last week announced that DIRECTV, DIRECTV Stream and U-verse could “soon” lose nearly 200 local channels if the two sides don’t reach a new carriage agreement. We don’t know what “soon” is defined as here, but it’s possible a blackout could occur as early as this week.
Nexstar has local stations in such large markets as Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Denver. The broadcaster’s web site says its local stations reach 115 markets representing 63 percent of all U.S. TV households. To see a list of the Nexstar stations, click here.
But what about WPIX, the CW affiliate in New York, you ask? Mission Broadcasting actually owns WPIX, but Nexstar operates it. And WPIX says at its web site that the DIRECTV TV services will lose it if there is a carriage blackout.
This fee fight is more complicated than most. DIRECTV in March 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.
The TV Answer Man will update this story if we receive additional statements or information regarding the dispute.
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— Phillip Swann