DIRECTV Not ‘Seriously Negotiating’ to Restore Blacked Out ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX Stations, Tegna Says




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Tegna, which owns dozens of ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX affiliates that are blacked out for DIRECTV customers, accused the pay-TV provider isn’t taking their negotiations seriously.

The local broadcast company, which owns 64 stations across 51 markets across the country, said DIRECTV has proposed restoring the stations to only military and government facilities, which it believes is a bid to drag out the talks.

“TEGNA is concerned for all our viewers,” said a company spokeswoman. “That is why we submitted our first proposal to DIRECTV back in September – to provide ample time to reach a fair agreement. It is unfortunate that DIRECTV chose to not engage with us seriously throughout that time, and waited until nearly a week after our contract expired to reply to our last offer.”

A Tegna spokeswoman told Cord Cutters News that the company’s last offer was made just prior to the 8 p.m. ET expiration last Thursday.

The comments mark the latest volley after DIRECTV and Tegna failed to come to a new distribution agreement a week ago, causing those local stations to go dark for DIRECTV, DIRECTV STREAM, and U-Verse customers across the country. It’s the latest blackout at a time when they’re becoming a more frequent problem, with media companies and local broadcasters sparring with the cable and satellite TV providers.

Tegna called the offer to partially restore those stations to government and military facilities “another stunt.”

A spokesperson for DIRECTV wasn’t immediately available for comment.

DIRECTV Chief Content Officer Rob Thun told Cord Cutters News last week the two sides were “extremely far apart,” and noted that it had offered Tegna an a la carte option that would allow it to charge customers directly. Tegna rejected the offer, and a spokeswoman slammed the idea as just another way for DIRECTV to add fees to subscribers.  

Tegna said it was still open to discussions. Here’s the rest of the statement:

“Nevertheless, we are prepared to work around the clock to reach a deal and have shared an updated offer to DIRECTV that can allow us to achieve that goal. If DIRECTV is serious about doing right by consumers, it will work with us to promptly reach a deal that restores our stations before any of their subscribers miss another moment of college or NFL football, valuable news and information or any of the other valued programming our stations deliver each day. In the meantime, we continue to remind DIRECTV subscribers that our stations remain available on virtually all other cable and satellite services nationwide and are always available free over-the-air.”

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