DirecTV subscribers in New Hampshire have lost access to the channels, which broadcast Rio Olympics 2016. The discontinuation of these channels happened due to a dispute over fees between NBC affiliate in Boston and DirecTV. DirecTV subscribers are really concerned about the loss of these channels as the Olympic events are scheduled to start within two weeks.
A statement, “The owner of this channel has removed it from DirecTV lineup,” appeared on the screen of DirecTV subscribers when they tried to tune in to the Boston-based channels. The NBC affiliated stations that went dark on all the DirecTV packages include WHDH, Channel 7, or WLVI, and Channel 56.
The two companies have confirmed that the dispute is over carriage fees, which DirecTV has to pay to NBC affiliated stations to bring WHDH programming to their subscribers in their satellite broadcast area. There are no confirmations regarding when the dispute will end or when subscribers will regain access to these channels. However, some reports say that the subscribers who have a broadcast television antenna, can access the channels over the air.
Dispute over carriage fees has become quite common these days. Sunbeam Television Corp. of Miami, which owns WHDH channels, had a similar dispute with DirecTV earlier this year, which resulted in a blackout of their channels for around 15 days. Sunbeam is also reported to have some fees disputes with Dish Network at the moment.
However, it all began in the year 2010, when Fox pulled out their channels from Time Warner Cable in a dispute over carriage-fee; and it was followed by the blackout of Viacom channels on DirecTV in 2012. In 2015, Verizon’s FiOS lost access to their weather channels, and most recently, 42 Tribune media stations were pulled off from the Dish Network channel list.
Sunbeam Television Corp and DirecTV also had a dispute in 2011, which lasted for two weeks and made the New Hampshire subscribers almost miss Super Bowl. However, WHDH has more serious concerns at hand this time, as they will lose its NBC affiliation in January. NBC Network is switching their Boston affiliation to a station that they own, and a lawsuit filed by the Sunbeam Television Corp against this switch was denied by the court.