TV Answer Man, what is your opinion on whether there will be a blackout of our channel 9 on DIRECTV because of the big fight they are having? — Jeri, Bowie, Maryland.
Will DIRECTV Lose the Tegna Stations This Week?
Jeri, Tegna, the owner of 64 local channels (including channel 9, WUSA-TV, in the Washington, D.C. area), says DIRECTV, DIRECTV Stream and U-verse could lose their signals if they don’t sign a new carriage agreement by then. Broadcasters often make such threats before the deadline for a new deal, but there’s plenty of evidence to suggest a blackout here is likely to happen. (To see a complete list of the Tegna stations, click here.)
Why Is a DIRECTV-Tegna Blackout Likely?
For starters, Tegna and DIRECTV had a carriage dispute in 2020 that led to a 19-day channel blackout before the two sides finally reached a new deal. The disagreement was over how much DIRECTV should pay to carry Tegna’s signals, just as it is now.
But Tegna has been involved in several other fee fights over the last few years, including this one with Dish that lasted four months, this one with Verizon, and this one with Fubo. The company clearly has no compunction allowing its channels to go dark if it helps get the best deal possible.
Likewise, DIRECTV this year had a 10-week blackout battle with Nexstar, a two-month dispute with Newsmax, and still has ongoing fights with Mission Broadcasting and White Knight. The TV provider is also not shy about allowing a blackout to occur if it deems necessary.
Consequently, it appears to this reporter that DIRECTV will lose the Tegna’s stations sometime this week, perhaps as early as the Thursday night deadline. I’m not saying it’s a guarantee, but the odds seem to favor it.
If there is a blackout, how long will it last? History would also suggest it could be a month or more.
Jeri, hope that makes sense. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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