The affected markets that will be able to see the NFL Playoffs and Golden Globes, among other programming, include Albuquerque-Santa Fe NM; Baltimore; Birmingham AL; Boston; Burlington VT; Cincinnati; Des Moines-Ames IA; Fort Smith AR; Greensboro-Winston-Salem NC; Greenville-Spartanburg SC-Asheville NC; Harrisburg-Lancaster PA; Jackson MS; Kansas City MO; Louisville KY; Milwaukee; Monterey-Salinas CA; New Orleans; Oklahoma City; Omaha NE; Orlando-Daytona FL; Pittsburgh; Portland-Auburn ME; Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto CA; Savannah GA; Tampa-St. Petersburg FL; and West Palm Beach-Fort Pierce FL.
EARLIER: Hearst Television has pulled 34 stations in 26 markets from DirecTV and AT&T TV customers, threatening coverage of the Wild Card Round of the NFL Playoffs in millions of homes.
Two of the impacted markets — Des Moines IA and Louisville KY — could lose tonight’s NFL Wild Card matchup between the Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots on CBS. Eleven other markets could miss Sunday’s January 5 contest between the Seattle Seahawks and Philadelphia Eagles, including nearby Harrisburg, PA.
In addition to playoff football, many TV fans could also miss the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards on NBC Sunday night. Hearst took the actions on January 3 at 5 p.m. EST after granting four temporary extensions on a retransmission consent agreement. According to industry research by Kagan, retrans fees have gone from about $215 million in 2006 to $11.7 billion in 2019, an increase of 5,359 percent.
“We must have Hearst’s permission to offer any of its stations and have repeatedly asked Hearst to keep them available while we conclude a new business agreement privately,” DirecTV said in a statement. “Hearst has refused and instead continues to demand far higher fees than we have ever agreed to with any other station owner including very recent deals with far larger broadcasters.”
Hearst countered that its programming required considerable funding.
“We have made significant investments to deliver top tier programming to our viewers and DirecTV is seeking the right to carry our stations at below market rates, which is neither fair nor reasonable,” Hearst said on its station websites.