It’s likely that we’ll continue to see feuds between cable resulting in local TV station blackouts in 2024 as cord cutting grows.
According to The Dallas Morning News, there have been 83 TV blackouts since the start of 2020. This year alone, we’ve seen blackouts as the result of respective disagreements between DIRECTV and Nextar as well as Spectrum and Disney.
The latest example of this is the continued standoff between the DIRECTV and Tegna. The heated fight between the two providers began earlier this month and has resulted in 64 local TV stations going dark on DIRECTV, DIRECTV STREAM, and U-Verse.
In most — if not all — instances, the blackouts mean millions of viewers cannot watch local news stations or local sports teams.
Cable TV blackouts aren’t new, but Dan Goman, CEO of media supply chain company Ateliere Creative Technologies told The Dallas Morning News that he thinks they’ll happen even more. The problem will worsen with more people moving away from cable to streaming services.
In turn, station owners and cable TV companies have to find other ways to make money. Exploring potential profit venues often leads to disagreements.
In the case of DIRECTV and Tegna, the station owner declined DIRECTV’s offer to make locals à la carte channels not part of the base package.
In addition, local TV stations are demanding more money from cable companies to make up for low ad revenue.
It remains to be seen how DIRECTV and Tegna’s dispute will resolve, as well as what it will mean for the future of the impacted local stations.