Reports from several reliable sources indicate that DirecTV recently decided to stop carrying approximately eight television stations in the Coachella Valley. This means that DirecTV subscribers in this region will no longer be able to access the channels offered by these stations. The blackout of these channels is because the renegotiations over carriage agreements between the provider and the stations didn’t end well.
KESQ and the News-Press and Gazette Company recently announced that DirecTV subscribers will not be able to access KESQ-AM, KUNA-FM, Deserts News Now, KCWQ (CW), CBS Local 2, KUNA (Telemundo), KDFX (FOX), and KESQ (ABC) from January 10. The existing contract between these stations and the provider will end on the same date.
The general manger at KSEQ, Mike Stutz said, “Our agreement comes to an end at three o’clock tomorrow afternoon. I can tell you we’re continuing to negotiate in good faith, we’re hopeful we’ll get this resolved before there’s any disruption in service.”
Cable TV providers such as DirecTV usually pay an amount as fees to these stations in order to broadcast their contents. The expiry of the contract between the two parties means that the provider will have to strike a new deal in order to continue offering the channels offered by the stations to their subscribers.
In this scenario, both the parties have miserably failed to renegotiate the carrier agreements between them, which means that the provider would be able to remove these channels from air. The parent company of KESQ owns Gulf Broadcasting Company, the company that operates affiliated channels such as KUNA (Telemundo) and CBS Local 2.
In a recent statement, NPG Co. noted, “Unfortunately, consumers can be held hostage if a powerful cable or satellite company refuses to reach a fair deal with a local station. In those cases, a local station can be ‘blacked out’ on a cable system. As a result, viewers like you can miss out on programming you love like NFL and NCAA football, primetime network programs, high profile programs like the Academy Awards and your local news.”
On the other hand, a DirecTV representative responded by stating that “News-Press & Gazette has suspended its stations briefly from our customers and threatened others before, so we appreciate your patience as we work to resolve this matter quickly and reasonably.”