DMAS 93 & 84

DirecTV Loses 2 ABC Affils In Retrans Dispute

Manship's two ABC affiliates -- WBRZ Baton Rouge, La., and KRGV Weslaco, Texas,-- went dark on DirecTV last Friday night. “After months of attempting to come to an agreement, DirecTV has failed to realize the importance of local news and entertainment and pulled programming from its lineup," said Manship in a statement.

(Satellite Business News) — Two ABC affiliates in smaller markets went dark Friday night on AT&T’s DirecTV DBS service after the DBS service and the stations’ owner could not reach a new retransmission consent agreement. The stations — WBRZ in Baton Rouge, La. (DMA 93), and KRGV in Weslaco, Texas (DMA 84) — are owned by Louisiana Television Broadcasting [Manship family].

In a statement on the Baton Rouge’s station’s website, the broadcaster said: “After months of attempting to come to an agreement, DirecTV has failed to realize the importance of local news and entertainment and pulled programming from its lineup.” The station said “DirecTV customers are not being allowed to watch the station’s local news or ABC television shows” and DirecTV’s “decision to remove the local broadcast station only impacts its customers — people who have paid for services from other companies such as Cox or Charter are not impacted nor are people who use an antenna to receive WBRZ free of charge, over-the-air.”

The station also said it is “not the only television station experiencing an issue. This week, a dozen other stations across the country were dealing with similar issues involving DirecTV.”

On the other station’s website, it said the broadcaster “continues to negotiate in good faith with DirecTV and we hope to reach a resolution in a timely manner.”

On the website it operates regarding retransmission consent impasses, DirecTV posted the same boilerplate language it uses for all such episodes, and which has become all too familiar. The DBS services said it shares its subscribers’ “frustration because Louisiana Television is deliberately preventing [its stations] from reaching [the subscriber] home until Louisiana Television receives a significant increase in fees even though [viewers] can still watch its shows for free over-the-air” on on-line.” DirecTV said it has “asked Louisiana Television repeatedly to allow you to watch while we work this business matter out privately, but Louisiana Television continues to refuse.”

The DirecTV-Louisiana Television is but one of several retransmission disputes that have left subscribers to DirecTV and Dish Network without access via satellite to local broadcast stations around the nation—in a unusual situation even given the recent rash of such incidents.

BRAND CONNECTIONS

Dish Network subscribers across the country continue to unable to watch Hearst Television’s stations in 30 markets in one of the longest retrans conflicts to go on for so long that impacts so many consumers. The Hearst stations went dark on Dish March 2 and neither company will even say whether they are talking to each other.

The week before last, stations owned or operated by Lilly Broadcasting and SJL Broadcasting left DirecTV’s service after those two companies failed to cut a new retrans deal. And DirecTV subscribers in Anchorage and Juneau, Alaska, have now gone more than two months without access to several stations owned by Denali Media Holdings.

Satellite Business News is the leader in coverage of satellite TV and related fields. Its FaxUPDATE is published three times a week. To subscribe, email [email protected].


Comments (3)

Leave a Reply

kendra campbell says:

April 10, 2017 at 8:11 am

Yawn, another day another station group whining about not getting paid enough for its precious local news and entertainment. That same programming that is available free OTA due to its FCC license. That same programming that comes with a mind-numbing commercial glut.

    Hugh Haynie says:

    April 10, 2017 at 10:27 am

    Like most things, it’s very obviously not that simple. Reverse comp can be extreme, and networks have a lot more leverage than small groups. They need to push where they can or they’ll be suffocated.

Moruti Loedphan Nkunyane says:

April 11, 2017 at 1:24 pm

I’m another customer who is extremely upset with Louisiana Broadcasting & DirecTv for not coming to an agreement!! There are so many OPTIONAL channels they could negotiate on, rather than on LOCAL channels. The LOCAL channels are the direct source of news for nearly everyone, and BLOCKING LOCAL channels is a travesty & should be illegal!!! There are many who are on limited incomes, retired or unemployed…these LOCAL channels should be free, period!! They used to be & we, the public, believed you were allowing providers like DirecTv to broadcast them as a benefit to the customer. Little did we know you were only doing it…for greed later on!!! This is an outrage! Fooled me once, shame on you! But you won’t fool me again!! I will boycott all advertisers who used to pay you to display their ads and, when & if I can get tv NOT HELD hostage by Louisiana Broadcasting & DirecTv – I will CHANGE!


More News