Gannett offers no details, except that it has “reached an agreement” that will enable DirecTV to continue retransmitting signals from its 23 television stations. Gannett had warned viewers that a “signal disruption” was possible if the companies remained at impasse over a new contract last night, when the previous deal with DirecTV expired. The broadcaster said that it wanted “a fair, market-based deal.” But DirecTV countered that Gannett was trying to “get customers angry and pressure DirecTV to accept a deal that would more than double the cost of their stations.” NBC would have been hit especially hard if Gannett stations had gone dark on DirecTV: Gannett is the largest independent owner of NBC stations with 12 affiliates in markets including Atlanta, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Denver, Cleveland, and Phoenix. The company also has six CBS affiliates, three with ABC, and two with MyNetworkTV. About 20% of the 20.1M households in Gannett’s markets watch the stations’ programming on DirecTV, according to SNL Kagan data. In October Gannett’s carriage negotiations with Dish Network also went right to the wire, without any disruption of service.
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