Here’s another 11th hour retransmission consent agreement — not a moment too soon for Sinclair, which has its hands full with its new station acquisition deals. The broadcaster recently told DirecTV customers that “it does not appear” they’d be successful in extending their carriage deal which expires tonight. But Sinclair now says it has “a short-term extension of its existing agreement” that will “allow the parties to enter into a formal agreement.” DirecTV also says that Sinclair’s 87 stations in 47 markets will air “without interruption as the companies continue working toward a new agreement.” A breakdown could have hit Fox especially hard: 24 of Sinclair’s stations are Fox affiliates and another 19 offer Fox-owned MyTV shows. The company also has 12 ABC stations, 16 CW, 11 CBS, 3 NBC, 1 Azteca and 1 Independent affiliate. They didn’t disclose any financial terms, but DirecTV said this month that Sinclair wanted it to to pay “more than twice as much for the same programs that remain available completely free of charge over the air and online.” In August Sinclair and Dish went to the wire in a retransmission dispute, but reached a deal before the stations went dark. DirecTV accounts for about 21% of the more than 27M households that Sinclair reaches.
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