DIRECTV Completes Six Retransmission Deals

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Scott Greczkowski

Scott Greczkowski

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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.
 
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Mr Tony

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very cool for the folks in the areas where the agreement was reached
 
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Mr Tony

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I noticed Gannett was on the list. Our local NBC (KARE 11) is owned by them
Also the old market I use to live in had two on the list...Granite which owns KBJR NBC6 and runs KDLH CBS3 and Red River (cheap ass folks) Broadcasting with KQDS Fox 21...maybe Granite asked for KBJR-DT2 My9 to be added. That would be awesome as they carry Minnesota Duluth sports :)
 
Mariah2014

Mariah2014

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Raycom renewed through 2014. No article seems to be up other than a note of a signed agreement from their stations.
edit.: They are just waiting on Directv signatures to a deal that would keep them up through 2014.
This message was the one that replaced the one that said they had already signed it.
 
Last edited:
uncrules

uncrules

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I'm still waiting to hear that a deal has been reached with Comcast with regards to The Golf Channel. With the way the Versus deal went with Comcast I'm not hopeful. Maybe with their deal with NBCU still being reviewed, Comcast will play nicer this time.
 
jdspencer

jdspencer

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Oct 22, 2004
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I guess we lose WICZ (Northwest Broadcasting) tonight. I'll keep the OTA and DNS for a while.

And exactly what does a 600% increase really mean? I'd like to know the details from both sides.
 
Mariah2014

Mariah2014

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Not sure either, but I am sure that Northwest broadcasting is under the impression thaet we pay 5 bucks for our locals, but we only pay 3 dollars. So I would imagine that they asked for an increase that took what Directv thought not reasonable and then double it. PRobably want somewhere between and possibly including 50 cents to a buck per customer in those markets.
I guess we lose WICZ (Northwest Broadcasting) tonight. I'll keep the OTA and DNS for a while.

And exactly what does a 600% increase really mean? I'd like to know the details from both sides.
 
cparker

cparker

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I have a problem with local broadcast stations getting any payment for retransmission at all. They transmit for FREE over the air. As long as they're being supplied to in-market subscribers, why should there be any payment? The broadcast channels were originally making their money off paid advertisements. Those ads will still reach their local subscribers. If anything, the satellite providers are making sure that MORE people can see the advertising as they can deliver to folks that can't get antenna reception.

I'm growing a bit tired of having my gonads squeezed by these greedy bastages.
 
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levibluewa

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Apr 25, 2006
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Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia -- Is Directv still negotiating with Comcast or have they reached an impasse.
 
Jimbo

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I find it interesting that D* put up a Alert channel for the potential shut off to tell people , the shut off date was 12-31-10, they came to an agreement on the 31st, in my situation, and this is the 6th and they still have the Alert page in the guide and showing up ....
BTW, the alert page NEVER did have any info on it, just a D* screen and music.

The only info was found on the actual channel.

Edit:
New Info on my front.....

While they had an agreement on the 31st, with posting that they were waiting for D*'s signature ....
I now see THIS message on the local website:

Important notice for DirecTV subscribers
DirecTV has refused Raycom's offer to enter into a contract that would allow continued carriage of this station through June 2014. Raycom and DirecTV continue negotiations for carriage rights of this station on the DirecTV service.

So ... so much for having an agreement, fortunately, the channel is still on the air on D* while this process is ongoing.
 
iwc5893

iwc5893

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I find it interesting that D* put up a Alert channel for the potential shut off to tell people , the shut off date was 12-31-10, they came to an agreement on the 31st, in my situation, and this is the 6th and they still have the Alert page in the guide and showing up ....
BTW, the alert page NEVER did have any info on it, just a D* screen and music.

The only info was found on the actual channel.

Edit:
New Info on my front.....

While they had an agreement on the 31st, with posting that they were waiting for D*'s signature ....
I now see THIS message on the local website:

Important notice for DirecTV subscribers
DirecTV has refused Raycom's offer to enter into a contract that would allow continued carriage of this station through June 2014. Raycom and DirecTV continue negotiations for carriage rights of this station on the DirecTV service.

So ... so much for having an agreement, fortunately, the channel is still on the air on D* while this process is ongoing.

This thread covers the Raycom issue specifically (Raycomm vs DirecTV), but what I find funny is what swanni reported in this post Raycom: DIRECTV Could Lose 40 Local Stations
However, DIRECTV tells the Arizona Daily Star that it will be able to carry the channels regardless of whether a new deal is signed now. The satcaster says the agreement automatically renewed for one year at the end of 2010 unless Raycom notified DIRECTV of its intent to terminate the deal; DIRECTV says it did not receive a notification to terminate.
"We're kind of scratching our heads over here as to why Raycom is trying to scare and confuse viewers in these markets. The channels will remain on and viewers should ignore these games," a DIRECTV spokesman told the newspaper.

On a side note, our Fox stations (owned by Northwest Broadcasting) are still off the air. I sent an email to my local station and haven't received a response (imagine that). Oh well, I guess that means that I'll have to do what I told them I would in my letter to them. I stated that I would take the time I spent watching their station and use it to campaign the FCC and my Congressmen to change the laws so that local stations would no longer be able to extort money from the companies that rebroadcast their signal to increase their viewership so that they can make more money.
 
Jimbo

Jimbo

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This thread covers the Raycom issue specifically (Raycomm vs DirecTV), but what I find funny is what swanni reported in this post Raycom: DIRECTV Could Lose 40 Local Stations


On a side note, our Fox stations (owned by Northwest Broadcasting) are still off the air. I sent an email to my local station and haven't received a response (imagine that). Oh well, I guess that means that I'll have to do what I told them I would in my letter to them. I stated that I would take the time I spent watching their station and use it to campaign the FCC and my Congressmen to change the laws so that local stations would no longer be able to extort money from the companies that rebroadcast their signal to increase their viewership so that they can make more money.

Except this thread was started before this other one your referring to, they are both discussing the same things.
We had 3 threads on the same thing that got merged and now we have another ....
 
Bodo Fenrirsson

Bodo Fenrirsson

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Except this thread was started before this other one your referring to, they are both discussing the same things.
We had 3 threads on the same thing that got merged and now we have another ....

I didn't know about this thread,It's like I woke up from a coma or something,otherwise I would have added the Raycom info here.
 
jcrandall

jcrandall

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I merged two Raycom threads. I'm leaving this one alone since it dealt with 6 local provider companies.

Thanks for calling it out guys.
 
iwc5893

iwc5893

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Feb 1, 2007
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I live in one of the DMA's being affected by Northwest Broadcasting's channels being removed due to the contract dispute. Tonight, I received an automated call from DirecTV informing us that because of the dispute they have given us the Fox national feed until the dispute is resolved. One more reason I support DirecTV in this issue.
 
E

empiretc

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Mar 4, 2008
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Same song and dance dish has had...
 
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