IBJNews

Tribune Broadcasting says no DirecTV deal

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Tribune Broadcasting said there's been no settlement with DirecTV Inc. in their contract negotiations, which means DirecTV subscribers in 19 U.S. markets, including Indianapolis, have lost access to certain programming.

In a statement late Saturday, Tribune Broadcasting said that without a deal in place, by federal law DirecTV cannot carry the signal of Tribune's local television stations after midnight, when the agreement expires.

In Indianapolis, WXIN (Fox59) and WTTV Channel 4 were blacked out starting Sunday.

Other affected markets include New York, Chicago, New Orleans and Philadelphia.

Tribune president Nils Larsen called the situation "extremely unfortunate."

In its own statement, DirecTV said it had hoped Tribune would allow its programming to remain up while negotiations continue. But as it struck midnight in each time U.S. time zone, Tribune channels carried by DirecTV were set to go blank.

Earlier, DirecTV said that it had accepted the financial terms that Tribune's management offered it by telephone two days ago. But Tribune came out with its own statement shortly after, saying that it had not reached a deal or come to terms with DirecTV on any aspect of the contract.

DirecTV fired back, saying in another statement that it had a handshake deal with Tribune on Thursday with an agreed upon rate for their channels.

"Their actions are the true definition of 'bad faith' in every sense of the term," DirecTV said.

The satellite television provider also wondered whether Tribune was having difficulty negotiating because of its bankruptcy process.

"Threatening station blackouts to extract an exorbitant fee for all of Tribune's content may provide an improved return for certain banks and hedge funds, but is not in the interest of its viewers and is not a cure for bankruptcy," DirectTV said.

Negotiations have been ongoing for months.

DirecTV subscribers in the markets where Tribune owns the local Fox affiliate could lose access to programs such as "American Idol" and Major League Baseball. Where Tribune owns the local affiliate of The CW Network, DirecTV subscribers will be unable to see shows such as "Gossip Girl" and "Vampire Diaries."

Larsen said in a statement on Thursday that if an agreement is not reached, DirecTV subscribers will still be able to watch programs on broadcast stations for free in high definition with a TV antenna or by signing up with an alternative pay-TV provider.

Tribune's broadcasting group owns or runs 23 television stations, WGN America on national cable and Chicago radio station WGN-AM. Its publishing arm includes daily newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and The Baltimore Sun.

DirecTV serves 32 million people in the U.S. and Latin America.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • It's free
    Tribune programming is up 24/7 and it's free. If you're in NW Indy you probably won't even need an antenna to receive it, plus you'll get a higher quality, un-compressed HD picture when you get it over the air.
  • Wish more would drop Direct TV and they'd go out of business.
    Worst company I ever had to TRY to deal with. ZERO customer service. Direct TV should be in the dictionary under the definition of Bad Faith.
  • DirecTV v. Tribune
    Might as well settle right now. Come September we're talking the NFL.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. These liberals are out of control. They want to drive our economy into the ground and double and triple our electric bills. Sierra Club, stay out of Indy!

  2. These activist liberal judges have gotten out of control. Thankfully we have a sensible supreme court that overturns their absurd rulings!

  3. Maybe they shouldn't be throwing money at the IRL or whatever they call it now. Probably should save that money for actual operations.

  4. For you central Indiana folks that don't know what a good pizza is, Aurelio's will take care of that. There are some good pizza places in central Indiana but nothing like this!!!

  5. I am troubled with this whole string of comments as I am not sure anyone pointed out that many of the "high paying" positions have been eliminated identified by asterisks as of fiscal year 2012. That indicates to me that the hospitals are making responsible yet difficult decisions and eliminating heavy paying positions. To make this more problematic, we have created a society of "entitlement" where individuals believe they should receive free services at no cost to them. I have yet to get a house repair done at no cost nor have I taken my car that is out of warranty for repair for free repair expecting the government to pay for it even though it is the second largest investment one makes in their life besides purchasing a home. Yet, we continue to hear verbal and aggressive abuse from the consumer who expects free services and have to reward them as a result of HCAHPS surveys which we have no influence over as it is 3rd party required by CMS. Peel the onion and get to the root of the problem...you will find that society has created the problem and our current political landscape and not the people who were fortunate to lead healthcare in the right direction before becoming distorted. As a side note, I had a friend sit in an ED in Canada for nearly two days prior to being evaluated and then finally...3 months later got a CT of the head. You pay for what you get...

ADVERTISEMENT