The deal means DirecTV customers will experience “no disruption to your local programming” for Media General stations, according to a statement the broadcaster posted on one of its stations’ web sites. “This fair resolution ensures that we can continue to provide top quality news, sports, entertainment, and other local programming that is most important to you.”
AT&T, which owns DirecTV, says it’s “pleased to have reached an agreement with Media General to keep their channels on for our customers.”
The companies did not disclose details about financial terms or possible conditions regarding streaming and video on demand rights.
The contract to carry Media General’s stations expired yesterday, but the companies left the programming on the No. 1 satellite service while negotiations continued. Media General serves 23% of U.S. TV households in 48 markets including Birmingham, AL; San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA; Columbus, OH; Hartford-New Haven, CT; Indianapolis, IN; Knoxville, TN; Albuquerque-Sante Fe, NM; Colorado Springs-Pueblo, CO; and Honolulu, HI.
Yesterday Dish Network and Tegna gave themselves until tonight to resolve a separate dispute. Tribune and AT&T’s U-verse also are still talking.
Earlier DirecTV charged that Media General “is threatening to block your station’s signal unless they receive more than double the current fees just to allow you to keep the same shows you’ve always had.”
The disputes come as the FCC weighs policy changes designed to discourage companies that can’t agree on deal terms from penalizing viewers.