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DIRECTV Completes Six Retransmission Deals

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Doug Brott, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. Dec 31, 2010 #1 of 148
    Doug Brott

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    DIRECTV Completes Six Retransmission Deals; Northwest Broadcasting Only Station Owner to Black Out Local Channels in Attempt to Extract Outrageous 600% Increase

    DIRECTV Concludes Successful Deals with Hearst, Granite, Gannett, Red River Broadcasting, KLAS-TV and Sarkes-Tarzian Broadcast Groups but Northwest Refuses Requests to Keep Channels Up While Talks Continue or For Arbitration Leaving Its Viewers in the Lurch

    EL SEGUNDO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- DIRECTV sharply rebuked Northwest Broadcasting today for attempting to "extort" a more than 600 percent fee increase to carry its local channels and forcing DIRECTV to take down broadcast networks in five markets. DIRECTV asked Northwest to keep the channels up while negotiations continued or bring the issue to arbitration to avoid any programming disruption to its customers, but Northwest refused and demanded the channels be taken down.

    The Northwest blackout will take place at midnight PT tonight, affecting DIRECTV customers in Binghamton, N.Y.; Medford, Ore.; Yakima and Spokane, Wash.; and Laredo, Texas.

    "We are appalled by the irresponsible behavior of Northwest Broadcasting, which has decided they would rather deprive our customers of their local channels, than make even an honest and good faith attempt to reach a fair deal in contract negotiations," said DIRECTV's Chairman, CEO and President Mike White. "For local broadcast station owners to brazenly hold viewers hostage in an attempt to extort fees that are astronomically higher than what we pay other local broadcasters is flat out wrong. We hope that Northwest will ultimately come to the table in good faith to discuss reasonable terms and fees and they will quickly restore programming to our customers."

    He added, "I am sitting at the negotiating table with hundreds of thousands of my customers right behind me. Not a single one of them wants to pay a 600% price increase."

    DIRECTV agreed to pay Northwest a fair market price increase that was consistent with fees it negotiated in other recently concluded contract talks for local broadcast channels. In the past weeks alone, DIRECTV was able to come to a fair deal with broadcast groups Gannett, Granite, Hearst, Red River Broadcasting, KLAS-TV and Sarkes-Tarzian, affecting millions of DIRECTV customers.

    DIRECTV also pointed out that broadcasters like Northwest have been granted a number of special privileges by the federal government including free use of the public airwaves and have a responsibility to consumers to provide access to their content.

    "We believe Northwest has now brazenly abused that privilege when they attempt to manipulate consumers through channel blackouts and threats in order to force their unreasonable demands on distributors like DIRECTV," said White. "And just as broadcasters have a responsibility to protect their viewers from programming disruptions, we have an obligation to protect our customers from unwarranted and outrageous fee increases that further drive up the costs of our programming services and create economic pressure on consumers at a time when they can ill afford it."

    DIRECTV noted that the tenor of contract discussions with station owners has changed dramatically in recent years and has seen an increasingly belligerent attitude among broadcasters who are demanding unprecedented fee hikes and threatening blackouts.

    While this is of great concern to DIRECTV and other distributors, it has not escaped the attention of the Federal Communications Commission or members of Congress in Washington. The FCC said it will begin the process of examining how to protect customers from the kind of behavior displayed by Northwest and other station owners, who have been involved in contentious contract negotiations this past year. DIRECTV intends to bring Northwest's egregious behavior to the attention of the Federal Communications Commission when it begins its review of retransmission rules this year.

    About DIRECTV:

    DIRECTV (NASDAQ: DTV) is the world's most popular video service delivering state-of-the-art technology, unmatched programming, the most comprehensive sports packages available and industry leading customer service to its 27.6 million customers in the U.S. and Latin America. In the U.S., DIRECTV offers its 19.1 million customers access to over 160 HD channels and Dolby-Digital® 5.1 theater-quality sound (when available), access to exclusive sports programming such as NFL SUNDAY TICKET™, award winning technology like its DIRECTV® DVR Scheduler and higher customer satisfaction than the leading cable companies for ten years running. DIRECTV Latin America, through its subsidiaries and affiliated companies in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, and other Latin American countries, leads the pay-TV category in technology, programming and service, delivering an unrivaled digital television experience to 8.5 million customers. DIRECTV sports and entertainment properties include three Regional Sports Networks (Northwest, Rocky Mountain and Pittsburgh) as well as a 65 percent interest in Game Show Network. For the most up-to-date information on DIRECTV, please call 1-800-DIRECTV or visit directv.com.

    DIRECTV
    Robert Mercer, 310-964-4683
    rgmercer@directv.com
    or
    Darris Gringeri, 212-205-0882
    dagringeri@directv.com

    Source: DIRECTV
     
  2. Dec 31, 2010 #2 of 148
    carillon

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    What about Raycom? My local Fox affiliate is owned by Raycom.
     
  3. Dec 31, 2010 #3 of 148
    Mike Bertelson

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    That's the whole press release. It doesn't seem as if Raycom is involved in the current information.

    Mike
     
  4. Dec 31, 2010 #4 of 148
    carillon

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    Sigh... I would hate to lose Fox network for any extended period of time.
     
  5. Dec 31, 2010 #5 of 148
    Doug Brott

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    I've asked, but honestly .. It's New Year's Eve and getting close to midnight now .. I don't expect to hear anything tonight. If I do, I'll try to post if I'm not busy (unlikely).
     
  6. Dec 31, 2010 #6 of 148
    cjrleimer

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    The whole Raycom Direct TV situation is he said she said and is confusing as hell so Id wait until Midnight to see whats up.
     
  7. Dec 31, 2010 #7 of 148
    dpeters11

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    How would it work? At 12:01 local time it would be gone?

    My local Fox is Raycom, and if Knoxville's is then I can use it to determine if I've lost mine. I know DirecTV was saying that there was an automatic one year extension.
     
  8. Dec 31, 2010 #8 of 148
    Doug Brott

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    I'm not convinced Raycom will be turned off tonight even if a new contract is not completed .. DIRECTV probably would have stated that in the press release if it were going to happen .. or perhaps there will be another one later. :shrug:

    Still, if the agreement ends tonight, it is possible that Raycom channels will go dark. Just be advised of that and hope it doesn't happen.
     
  9. Dec 31, 2010 #9 of 148
    carillon

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    I'll be watching at midnight to see if my local Raycom Fox affiliate goes dark and will report back. If it does go dark will there be any way to get Fox network programming?
     
  10. Dec 31, 2010 #10 of 148
    Mariah2014

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    For those who are wondering check your channel lineup. Especially if they didn't give and do so under the all channels heading on your box. If the channel was going down tonight you will probably have a channel named Alerts. LIkely on the DT channel number that would use if receiving it via OTA, but the signal is coming from a Directv Satellite. This what has happened with the Northwest Broadcasting stations. This channel was added a few days ago and based on the artcile, I would expect that they are probably not even trying to talk with that company. As far as raycom, Directv seems to be of the opinion that their agreement would auto renew or something on those lines and obviously don't believe they are going to lose those raycom owned stations.
    edit Raycom has extended through 2014.
     
  11. Dec 31, 2010 #11 of 148
    Doug Brott

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    Are you saying a deal is now done?
     
  12. Dec 31, 2010 #12 of 148
    Montezuma58

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    I've had one of these "ALERT" channels for several days. 48-1 for WAFF in Huntsville, AL a Raycom station.
     
  13. Dec 31, 2010 #13 of 148
    Mariah2014

    Mariah2014 Breaking the mold

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    Well you are saved though. They reached an agreement with them. Something must have changed in the last several hours for them to say they have an agreement in hand.
    Each of the Raycom stations have this message oin their websites now. So it sounds like they are probably ok.
    We have provided DirecTV a signed copy of an agreement that will allow continued carriage of this station to DirecTV subscribers into 2014. We are awaiting their signature.
    The new message is a slighty different one than they had a just a little while ago. Where it said they had signed agreement in hand.
     
  14. Dec 31, 2010 #14 of 148
    sum_random_dork

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    According to John Ourand at SBJ
    looks like we'll have Golf Channel at least for a while. I would imagine neither side wanted to lose the channel, Golf needs the #'s and DirecTV likes the Golf customer because they have $$$$$.
     
  15. Dec 31, 2010 #15 of 148
    dorfd1

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    goodbye sat feed of wxix. if I read the post right. if wxix was to go dark wouldn't the guide data for the sat channel be changed to tell you it will go dark? yes the whole raycom situation is confusing,
     
  16. Dec 31, 2010 #16 of 148
    dpeters11

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    We saw that earlier, some in the Raycom thread didn't sound like it was all that positive, that there were still differences that DirecTV may not agree to.
     
  17. Dec 31, 2010 #17 of 148
    Doug Brott

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    Ah yes, there it is:
    http://www.wtnzfox43.com/
    Basically, it's looking like Raycom is good to go now. May not be signed until the new year as it's getting late, but it seems to be done.
     
  18. Dec 31, 2010 #18 of 148
    dorfd1

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    link please since I am confused
     
  19. Dec 31, 2010 #19 of 148
    dorfd1

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    sorry for the double post. you sure directv is not refusing to sign?
     
  20. Dec 31, 2010 #20 of 148
    dpeters11

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