Loss of local channels for DIRECTV customers

Local News

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Direct broadcast service provider DIRECTV and AT&T U-Verse has dropped the network and local community programming after rejecting Nexstar Broadcasting Group Inc. (“Nexstar”)’s offer to extend access for customers. The agreement that was failed to be reached by both companies was going to allow the direct broadcast satellite service provider the right to continue to air the highly rated programming.

With the long-term record of providing service to the local stations where it operates, Nexstar deeply apologizes for DIRECTV/ AT&T’s rejection of the contract extension. This rejection causes viewers of the affected stations to lose leading network content; as well as, local news and other programming produced specifically for the local communities.

The leading networks that are affected by this failed agreement:

  • ABC
  • CBS
  • FOX
  • NBS
  • CW
  • MyNetworkTV

Viewers affected by the loss of service from DIRECTV have several alternatives to continue watching their favorite shows, including local cable providers of DISH, over-the-air, certain subscription streaming television services, and services such as Verizon’s FIOS.

The failed extension is highly unusual for Nexstar but is far more common for DIRECTV/ AT&T. According to a recent press release, Nexstar has established a long-term record of completing hundreds of agreements with multichannel video programming distributors. They are also proud to announce that in the 23-year history of Nexstar they have never had a service interruption related to distribution agreements of the same extent of the current AT&T/DIRECTV interruption.

DIRECTV is routinely involved in disputes with content providers. Following its 2015 acquisition by AT&T, they have dropped or threatened to blackout network and local programming. Between May 30, 2019, and June 10, 2019, viewers of at least 20 other non-Nexstar stations lost access to network and local content as a result of another refusal to accept fair station rates for the distribution of leading non-AT&T programming.

Nexstar has been negotiating in hopes of establishing a mutually agreeable contract with DIRECTV. Nexstar has offered DIRECTV the same rates it offered to other large distribution partners of whom it completed successful negotiations with. They believed progress was being made in the negotiations; but, was misled when DIRECTV requested that viewers not be informed about the pending expiration as long as negotiations were continuing to be constructive.

AT&T/ DIRECTV did not accept Nexstar’s offer for the extension minutes before the previous contract was coming to an end. In 2018, AT&T gained Time Warner including global media and entertainment companies of Warner Bros., HBO, Turner, and CNN. Since then, AT&T appears to be content on using their new power to prioritize their own content at the expense of customers, and insisting on unreasonable and extreme terms. In January, AT&T raised its prices for DIRECTV and in April they put through a price increase for their streaming subscription service, DIRECTV NOW.

Nexstar is still hopeful and eager to complete an agreement with DIRECTV that will be consistent with those Nexstar has made with other cable, satellite and telco providers.

Nexstar is highly committed to consistently raising the level of service provided to local communities of the stations across the country. They plan to do this by making meaningful capital investments to expand local news, lifestyle, sports, weather, and other programming. Nexstar apologizes that DIRECTV is willing to pull programming from paying customers because they won’t agree to fair and reasonable terms.

If you are affected by DIRECTV/AT&T’s blackout, you can call them at 855-937-9462 and request to have KCAU 9 News back.

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