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TEGNA renews affiliation agreement with NBC

The agreement covers TEGNA-owned broadcast stations in Seattle, Phoenix, Atlanta, Minneapolis and more than a dozen other markets.

The agreement covers TEGNA-owned broadcast stations in Seattle, Phoenix, Atlanta, Minneapolis and more than a dozen other markets.

The front of the NBC Tower in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons, Graphic by The Desk)
The front of the NBC Tower in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons, Graphic by The Desk)

TEGNA and NBC have reached a new affiliation agreement that will keep NBC shows, sports and news programming on 20 of TEGNA’s local television stations.

The deal announced on Wednesday comes less than one day after StreamTV Insider reported DirecTV had quietly tested an alternate feed of NBC programming in markets where TEGNA owns the local NBC affiliate. TEGNA stations have been unavailable to DirecTV customers since last November.

An announcement released by TEGNA and NBC didn’t address the situation with DirecTV, but did say that the companies had reaffirmed their commitment to provide NBC programming through 20 TEGNA stations in markets like Atlanta, Seattle, Minneapolis and Phoenix.

“As the largest NBC affiliate group among independent station groups, we are proud of our longstanding partnership that enables us to serve local communities,” Dave Lougee, the president and CEO of TEGNA, said in a statement. “This new multi-year agreement allows our stations to continue providing consumers and advertisers with premium network content such as ‘Today,’ ‘Sunday Night Football’ and this summer’s Paris Olympic Games alongside our award-winning local news, weather and sports.”

“TEGNA continues to be an important partner to NBC, bringing our loved, must-see programming to top markets across the United States,” Philip Martzolf, the president of affiliate relations at NBC, said on Wednesday. “This renewal comes at the perfect time as NBC returns to primetime with midseason programming this week, as well as prepares for two of TV’s biggest moments in the election and Summer Olympics later this year.”

The announcement didn’t say whether TEGNA’s affiliation agreement with NBC resolved some concerns over streaming carriage of its stations. Over the past year, the broadcast industry has been pushing for greater control over how its TV stations are carried on streaming upstarts like Fubo, Sling TV and YouTube TV.

Unlike cable and satellite companies, which must negotiate directly with broadcast station owners for carriage on their platforms, streaming services have historically relied on agreements with the four major broadcast networks — ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox — which negotiate carriage of affiliated stations on behalf of the broadcast owners.

Last year, those broadcast owners — including TEGNA — formed a new organization called the Coalition for Local News, which is lobbying federal lawmakers and regulators to franchise cable and satellite retransmission consent rules on streaming services.

It was also not clear from the announcement if TEGNA and NBC had included any stipulation covering the carriage of TEGNA-owned NBC affiliates on Peacock, the Comcast-owned streaming service operated by NBC Universal. As of Wednesday, TEGNA-owned stations were still available to subscribers of Peacock Premium Plus, the $12 per month tier that markets itself as offering live access to local NBC affiliates.

The agreement announced on Wednesday keeps NBC programming on the following TV stations for at least another five years:

  • KAGS-LD (Channel 23, semi-satellite of KCEN) in College Station, Texas
  • KARE (Channel 11) in Minneapolis
  • KCEN (Channel 6) in Waco
  • KGW-TV (Channel 8) in Portland, Oregon
  • KING-TV (Channel 5) in Seattle
  • KSDK (Channel 5) in St. Louis
  • KTFT-LD (Channel 7.7, satellite of KTVB) in Twin Falls, Idaho
  • KTVB (Channel 7) in Boise
  • KNAX (Channel 2, satellite of KPNX) in Flagstaff
  • KPNX (Channel 12) in Phoenix
  • KUSA (Channel 9) in Denver
  • KWES (Channel 9) in Odessa, Texas
  • WBIR (Channel 10) in Knoxville
  • WCNC (Channel 36) in Charlotte
  • WCSH (Channel 6) in Portland, Maine
  • WGRZ (Channel 2) in Buffalo
  • WKYC (Channel 3) in Cleveland
  • WLBZ (Channel 2, semi-satellite of WCSH) in Bangor
  • WTHR (Channel 13) in Indianapolis
  • WTLV (Channel 12) in Jacksonville, Florida
  • WXIA (Channel 11) in Atlanta

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).