By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman

DIRECTV’s carriage dispute with 159 Nexstar-owned local stations and NewsNation enters its first full day today and subscribers are already showing signs of impatience. (The blackout also affects U-verse and DIRECTV Stream.)

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.

DIRECTV, U-verse and DIRECTV Stream subscribers last night posted hundreds of angry comments on social media sites blasting the fee fight. While DIRECTV has issued a statement charging Nexstar with demanding a ‘significant’ increase in fees, the words are not being well received by subscribers who are paying the three DIRECTV-owned services for their programming.

“@DIRECTV Get your act together. Every time there is a dispute each side blames the other. Exactly how much is Nexstar asking for? I’m sure two multibillion dollar corporations can come to reasonable terms without hosing the customer,” Jeremy Rocha wrote on Twitter. 

“This is annoying. @NBC @CBS  are blocked because greedy #Nexstar is demanding higher fees fr @DIRECTV which may then pass it on to us. If this standoff continues, we deserve a credit on our bill since our package includes these channels. I’ll research alternative providers,” added @craftyme25.

“@DIRECTV get your s— together and work something out with nexstar  it’s absolutely ridiculous that I should not be able to watch my local channel 5 news program in Los Angeles. Figure it the f— out!!!!”wrote ‘Robin Somers on Twitter.

“@DIRECTV SERIOUSLY?!?!?!? 1st CBS & now FOX? You just cut off The United States of America’s Men’s Na’tnl Team in The CONCACAF Gold Cup!!!!!! You Suck. Resisted it till now, checking out streaming cable/satellite services,” added Stuart Thompson.

DIRECTV, which has lost 12 million subscribers in the last eight years, can ill afford a lengthy blackout. But the company has been in a legal and public feud with Nexstar for several months which could prolong this dispute. While most subscribers seem to blame both sides for the impasse, the satcaster could feel its impact earlier with customer defections.

DIRECTV could be fortunate that the blackout is starting in July when viewing tends to decline with families heading off on summer vacations. But that advantage could flip if the impasse doesn’t end before the NFL season in September.

“You have ten weeks before NFL season will make bargaining impossible. Nexstar knows this. The YouTube deal might be technologically impossible on satellite, but creative solutions can hopefully close the gap. Sinclair awaits in September for battle too…” tweeted Neal O’Brien.

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— Phillip Swann