By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman

DIRECTV and Nexstar have issued a statement this morning saying they have signed a temporary carriage deal to return the Nexstar-owned 159 local stations, and NewsNation, to the lineup of DIRECTV, DIRECTV Stream and U-verse. The companies do not reveal the terms of the temporary deal, such as the length, but they say they are continuing to work to sign a long-term contract. The temporary agreement comes hours before the start of week two of the NFL regular season.

“In recognition and appreciation of the continued patience of DIRECTV customers and Nexstar viewers, the companies have agreed to temporarily return the signals of the Nexstar-owned stations and national cable news network NewsNation to DIRECTV, DIRECTV STREAM and U-verse while we both work to complete the terms of an agreement,” the statement says.

DIRECTV and its sister services had been without the Nexstar stations since July 2 when the old carriage pact expired. The fee fight has been a contentious one with DIRECTV accusing Nexstar of also orchestrating carriage disputes with roughly 30 local stations owned by Mission and White Knight but managed by Nexstar. It’s unclear this morning if the temporary deal between DIRECTV and Nexstar will also include the White Knight and Mission stations.

There was a sign last week that DIRECTV and Nexstar could be getting closer to an agreement. Tom Carter, a senior Nexstar advisor, expressed hope in a Bank of American investors conference that a deal to end the 10-week carriage dispute with DIRECTV could be in the works. Carter qualified his remarks to say that Nexstar wouldn’t accept just any deal, but that “progress has been made” in the negotiations.

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— Phillip Swann