DirecTV is in a carriage dispute with Alabama-based Raycom Media which owns dozens of local TV stations mostly in the southern US. DirecTV says Raycom wants to double its fees to DirecTV.
The stations went dark on Sunday following the expiration of an old – itself contentious – contract between Raycom and DirecTV signed in 2011.
The stations, while local, are also in many cases affiliated with one or other of the major national networks. For example, the Montgomery/Selma station is an NBC affiliate, while the Tucson station is with CBS. West Palm Beach is a Fox affiliate, as is Raycom’s New Orleans station.
Raycom itself owns and/or operates 40 stations, but it also has a number of shared service agreements with other broadcast groups.
Raycom, in a statement, said: “This is frustrating for DirecTV customers who rely on Raycom stations for information and entertainment. We share their frustration and are committed to doing everything we can to resolve this issue and have been for the last 12 weeks of discussions.”
DirecTV, in its response, stated: “Raycom Media is denying DirecTV customers and some of its own most loyal viewers access to its local broadcast stations unless they pay more than double just to receive the same broadcast shows that remain available over the air for free,” DirecTV stated. “We will always work to protect our customers and prevent them from enduring any unnecessary interruptions, no matter how brief.”