By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman

DIRECTV and Nexstar announced this morning that they have signed a multi-year carriage agreement ensuring that the 176 Nexstar-owned local channels, and NewsNation, will stay in the lineups of DIRECTV’s satellite service, DIRECTV Stream and U-verse. The long-term deal was expected after the companies said yesterday that they had signed a temporary pact to return the channels. The stations, which include network affiliates for ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and the CW, had been off the DIRECTV services since July 2 when the old carriage pact expired. It’s unclear if the multi-year agreement includes roughly 30 local stations owned by White Knight and Mission Broadcasting but managed by Nexstar. The White Knight/Mission channels did not return to the DIRECTV lineup yesterday after the temporary agreement was announced.

The 176-day DIRECTV/Nexstar dispute was a particularly contentious one with DIRECTV accusing the broadcaster of orchestrating the White Knight and Mission fee fights as well as demanding excessive fees to carry the Nexstar-owned stations. Nexstar denied the charges, saying DIRECTV was refusing to pay the fair market value for its signals. DIRECTV CEO William Morrow this morning issued a statement accompanying the DIRECTV announcement that addressed the issue of rising programming costs.

“On Sept. 17, 2023, we began to return Nexstar-owned stations and NewsNation to DIRECTV, DIRECTV STREAM and U-verse customers, and have since finalized a new, multi-year agreement with Nexstar,” Morrow said. “Unfortunately, over the past decade-plus access to your programming has become a battleground for networks and stations to try to drive up higher rates. As our customers, we recognize that while you may be able to access some programming over-the-air or on a streaming service during these periods, that is not the experience you expect. We understand you have a choice among your TV providers and appreciate your ongoing loyalty during this renewal. That’s what will enable us to offer you more choice, personalization, and further value in future programming you pay to receive in your home. Thank you for your support and tremendous patience.”

Note: The statement today from DIRECTV and Nexstar says the broadcaster owns 176 local stations, but it has previously said 159 stations. You can see a list of the Nexstar stations here.

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— Phillip Swann