By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman

DIRECTV last night lost 159 Nexstar-owned local channels when the carriage agreement between the companies expired. And apparently, the satcaster had little hope that negotiations leading up to the blackout would be successful. Minutes after the channels were removed, DIRECTV posted a slick video presentation on YouTube outlining its position in the fee fight.

The video, which can be seen at the bottom of this article, includes audio of Nexstar executives saying that blackouts are sometimes necessary to generate more revenue in a carriage dispute as well as detailed research on the broadcaster’s strategies and revenue streams.

DIRECTV appears to have spent considerable time on producing the video prior to last night’s blackout, another indication that the two sides are far apart in negotiations and that the impasse was fait accompli.

For its part, Nexstar last Thursday night sent a strong signal that the blackout would occur by posting viewer alerts at station web sites. The alert said DIRECTV didn’t “care” if the Nexstar channels were removed.

“Our station has a contract with DIRECT/UVERSE that allows them to deliver our programming to you. That contract could soon expire and DIRECT/UVERSE might remove our station from your schedule. We have presented a proposal for fair value compensation, based on the importance and value our programming brings to our viewers. Despite our tireless efforts, DIRECTV/UVERSE has refused our fair offer and doesn’t seem to care if you must go without,” the Nexstar alert stated.

On another page, Nexstar goes further by saying that DIRECTV has a history of “holding their customers hostage” by engaging in channel blackouts during carriage disputes. Ironically, that’s the same charge that DIRECTV is making in the YouTube video.

You can see the DIRECTV YouTube video below:

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— Phillip Swann