Directv dropping 100 Nexstar Stations Amid Retrans Battle
Nexstar-owned stations in nearly 100 markets all over the country have gone blank on AT&T’s DirecTV as directv is dropping channels and companies fights it out over a new retransmission consent deal covering many of Big Four network affiliates.
Nexstar stated that the stations went down at 11:59 p.m. ET on July 3 just after DirecTV refused an offer to extend the previous contract until Aug. 2 in order to go on with the negotiations. Nexstar said in a lengthy statement that DirecTV officials discouraged the broadcaster from running a crawl on its stations notifying viewers of the potential blackout, a move that Nexstar executives saw as a sign of confidence that a deal for to 120 stations in 97 markets would come into completion by July 3 deadline. Easy methods to pay DIRECTV BILL
“While Nexstar saw it as progress being made in the negotiations, DirecTV misled Nexstar as it brought to table that viewers should be informed about the pending expiration as long as negotiations were continuing to be constructive,” Nexstar said. “Yet, with minutes to go before the prior ongoing talks was to expire, DirecTV/AT&T did not consider to accept Nexstar’s offer for further extension which would have enabled customers in the affected markets to watch their favorite network shows, special events, sports, local news and other TV shows on the Fourth of July and until such time as a new agreement can be reached.”
Reasons For Directv Dropping Channels
In a statement, DirecTV accused Nexstar of “holding viewers hostage” as a bargaining tactic.
“We had hoped to prevent Nexstar from pulling its stations from our subscribers’ lineups and we offered Nexstar more money to keep them available. Nexstar just said no and elected to wipe them out instead. Nexstar has decided to hold our customers hostage and put them into the center of its negotiations,” DirecTV said. “This is the same old Nexstar playbook. They withdraw their signals from customers of many distributors to raise up fees for “free TV” stations that far exceed their original value.”
Nexstar agreed that it offered DirecTV and AT&T’s U-verse platform a carriage deal on the same terms that it has in place with other sizable MVPDs.
DirecTV categories Nexstar’s offer as “ the largest increase AT&T has ever seen proposed by any content provider. In addition, Nexstar demands much higher payments for stations and a low-rated cable tv network they are not the owner, as well as carriage commitments and still additional fees for channels that don’t even exist.”
Nexstar also was quick to state that AT&T was abusing its market clout in the wake of its 2018 acquisition of Time Warner. Such public comments could be a headache for AT&T the next time it will seek regulatory approval for a transaction.
“A little more than a year after emerging DirecTV together with Time Warner, AT&T shows intent on using its new market power to rank its own content at the expense of consumers, and insisting on unreasonable and extreme terms that are totally not consistent with the market,” Nexstar said, also stating that DirecTV recently raised its prices.