Advanced Television

Olympic plea for DirecTV/Sunbeam re-trans spat

August 8, 2016

By Chris Forrester

Some of Sunbeam Televisions US stations have been off air since July 17th. Sunbeam’s WHDH station, an NBC affiliate, serving the Boston area is one such station, and now Senator Ed Markey, who represents Massachusetts, wrote to Sunbeam and DirecTV, and the Federal Communications Commission, urging the parties to solve their fee argument and get the Olympic Games back on air for Boston viewers.

“We need these companies to work at Olympic record-breaking speed to resolve this dispute and get WHDH back on the air for Boston viewers,” said Markey.

His plea seems to have worked for one Sunbeam station, in Miami, which went back on air on Sunday. But WHDH has stayed dark. Some 160,000 DirecTV subscribers are affected.

Miami-based Sunbeam is not immune to controversy. Indeed, NBC has decided to pull its affiliation for WHDH effective January 1st 2017. The Boston station, and others in the Sunbeam group, had similar ‘black outs’ with DirecTV back in 2012, but that dispute was solved in less than two weeks.

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