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TEGNA stations return to DirecTV ahead of NFL playoffs

A DirecTV satellite dish. (Photo by "Hurricane Geek" via Wikimedia Commons)
A DirecTV satellite dish. (Photo by “Hurricane Geek” via Wikimedia Commons)

Nearly five dozen local broadcast television stations owned by TEGNA have returned to DirecTV’s satellite and streaming services ahead of the National Football league’s Wild Card Playoff weekend.

The new agreement resolves a weeks-long dispute that left millions of DirecTV via Satellite, DirecTV via Internet, U-Verse and DirecTV Stream customers unable to watch one or more TEGNA-owned stations, including local affiliates of ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, and the agreement did not appear to include a clause requested by DirecTV that TEGNA-owned stations be relegated to their own a-la-carte programming tier. Instead, TEGNA stations returned in DirecTV’s base programming packages, which include other network- and independent-owned local TV stations.

The channels were dropped on November 30, after a three-year contract between DirecTV and TEGNA lapsed with no agreement in place. As is typical in disputes like these, DirecTV accused TEGNA of demanding more money for the same set of channels, while TEGNA asserted it was only seeking a “fair-market rate” for its programming.

Throughout the dispute, TEGNA-owned stations have encouraged viewers to drop DirecTV for another service that carried their channels. Social media posts encouraging viewers to switch services were quietly deleted from TEGNA-operated Facebook profiles on Saturday.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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