DirecTV puts local ABC affiliate KEYT back on the air

acornejo@thetribunenews.comOctober 25, 2013 

DirecTV subscribers on the Central Coast can once again watch their favorite ABC shows like “Scandal” and “Good Morning America.”

A contract dispute between KEYT-TV and the satellite-television provider that halted service for two weeks has been settled. The terms of that agreement were not disclosed.

“Like any negotiation there is usually compromise on either side,” said Thomas Tyrer, spokesman for DirecTV. “We will say that this should have never become public, and we would prefer customers never become involved. Private business should occur in private.”

On Oct. 9, Central Coast subscribers lost access to KEYT-TV when DirecTV stopped airing the national ABC lineup as well as local programming carried by the station.

KEYT general manager Mark Danielson issued an email saying, "I am pleased to announce that KEYT News Channel 3 has reached an agreement with DirecTV for carriage of our signal. I thank our viewers for their patience and support.”

The contract standoff affected all 10 ABC affiliates, including KEYT, owned by News-Press & Gazette Co.

The ABC affiliate serves the San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria and Santa Barbara markets.

Danielson, who could not be reached for comment Friday, previously said he was disappointed that DirecTV would "deprive its subscribers" of local and national ABC programming. The two companies had been in negotiations for several weeks, with KEYT granting an extension to DirecTV after the previous contract expired Sept. 30.

In a statement issued by email Friday announcing that the 12 stations had been returned to DirecTV, Tyrer called the removal of the stations unnecessary.

“While we are pleased NPG has restored the stations, we’re equally as frustrated that they took them away in the first place. This is just another unfortunate example of broadcasters violating the public trust in an attempt to extract higher fees from our customers,” Tyrer said.

Reach AnnMarie Cornejo at 781-7939. Stay updated by following @a_cornejo on Twitter.

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