That sucks about WLVT, it actually had some kind of importance to the Allentown/Lehigh Valley area with some of the community shows they have. Now all that region has is just WFMZ for news and issues that apply to them. Everything else is just Philadelphia, and New Jersey with NJN.
Statement Regarding Directv
On July 13, 2005, WLVT sent Directv a letter regarding "Mandatory Carriage Election" pursuant to section 338 of the Communications Act of 1934. This letter communicated our wishes to be carried in the Philadelphia DMA by Directv. (see attachment 1)The July 13th date is significant considering Directv set an October 1st, 2005 deadline to receive any such communication regarding "must-carry."
On December 28th, 2005, WLVT was notified via FedEx that Directv never received any communication from WLVT regarding retransmission consent. Therefore, "Directv does not have any obligation to continue carriage of WLVT-TV." (see attachment 2)
On December 29th, 2005, Dan LaBert, Senior Director of Technology and Strategic Partnerships for WLVT contacted Bob Gabrielli, Senior Vice President of Programming Operations & Distribution for Directv. Contact was made first by leaving a voicemail with Gabrielli's office and then followed up with by sending an email. (see attachment 3)
In that message, LaBert communicated "It would be a disservice to the viewers of the Philadelphia DMA and the subscribers of DirecTV for this not to be worked out," and that "WLVT responded for carriage request by Directv on July 13th, 2005." A .pdf copy of the letter was attached to the email.
Bob Gabrielli did return our message that same day and spoke with Dan LaBert. Gabrielli stated that Directv sent out their communication on 12/28/2005 to give stations adequate time to respond just in case there were any glitches in the system. Gabrielli questioned why Directv did not receive WLVT's letter but then opened the previously sent email that contained a copy of WLVT's July 13th communication to Directv. While on still on the phone with LaBert, Gabrielli stated "well there must be in a glitch in our system. Everything looks ok on this letter. I will walk down to our legal department and get it taken care of. I will then follow back up with you letter this afternoon." Except, WLVT has yet to hear back from Directv regarding this issue.
On December 31st at 12:00 AM, WLVT was dropped from Directv's channel line-up.
Despite numerous phone calls, voice mails and emails to Directv's corporate office in El Segundo, California, WLVT has still yet to be contacted by Directv.
WLVT's signal did return to Directv on Tuesday, January 3rd but was once again dropped on Wednesday January 4th. We have been given no reason why our signal was dropped a second time.
WLVT deeply regrets any inconvenience to our viewers resulting from Directv's decision to drop our signal station. We renewed our intentions with Directv on July 13, 2005 and Directv failed to process the request. We are working feverishly to resolve this issue.