By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman
TV Answer Man, does all the news and attention that the Spectrum-Disney fight is getting have any impact on DIRECTV’s fight with Nexstar? Are they less likely to make a deal now that fewer people are paying attention to them because of the Spectrum blackout? We have been without our NBC station now for more than two months! It seems like no one cares anymore! — Earl, Tampa, Florida.
Earl, that’s a great question. DIRECTV has now been without 159 Nexstar-owned network affiliates for more than two months due to a carriage dispute. The blackout, which also affects DIRECTV Stream and U-verse, includes affiliates for ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and The CW. In the last week, the companies have been somewhat less contentious in public which could be a good sign that negotiations are progressing. And there’s no doubt that the Spectrum TV-Disney dispute, which has left Spectrum’s customers without 26 Disney channels since last Thursday, has taken center stage in the TV industry. No one seems to be talking about DIRECTV and Nexstar anymore.
But I don’t think the Spectrum-Disney fight has any impact on what happens with DIRECTV and Nexstar. I have long said here that the start of the NFL season (first regular season game is this Thursday night with the first Sunday of games three days later) is the most likely catalyst to drive a settlement. Both sides need the NFL to be available to DIRECTV’s 12 million subscribers. DIRECTV needs to appease unhappy fans while Nexstar needs the 12 million for better ratings and advertising dollars. The fact that the media is pouring attention on what’s happening with Charter and Disney is irrelevant to that.
The TV Answer Man will continue to monitor the DIRECTV-Nexstar dispute and report back here if anything significant changes. Until then, happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann