KSBY-TV returned to DirecTV on Saturday afternoon – just in time for football.
The station and the satellite-television provider reached an agreement that put the NBC affiliate back on air, KSBY officials said Saturday.
KSBY had been off the air since Jan. 1 because of an impasse in negotiations.
“We are very pleased to welcome back our DirecTV viewers,” KSBY General Manager Kathleen Choal said. “KSBY is committed to this community. We’ve been here for over 60 years and we are happy to put this dispute behind us.”
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Choal declined to comment on specifics of the negotiations, but said the agreement reached with DirecTV was a multiyear deal.
She also declined to state the number of DirecTV subscribers affected locally. However, KSBY’s owner, Cordillera Communications Inc., has about 500,000 DirecTV viewers in Arizona, California, Colorado, Louisiana, Kentucky, Montana, and Texas who were affected by the dispute, Choal said.
She said the station was on air about the time that the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens game kicked off.
“I know that our viewers got to see the majority of the NFL game today,” Choal said. “We were happy to get that for our viewers.”
KSBY carries such NBC programs as “Today,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Saturday Night Live,” as well as local programming.
When programming abruptly ended just after midnight Jan. 1, DirecTV released a statement saying that “the owner of this channel (locally, Channel 6) has removed it from the DirecTV lineup despite our repeated requests to keep it on.”
It had advised subscribers to visit DirecTVPromise.com for the latest information.
According to KSBY at the time, contract negotiations had bogged down in several areas, including the fair value of its programming. As a result, it stated, “DirecTV has decided to drop our station as of Jan. 1.”
Under federal law, cable and satellite operators such as DirecTV have to obtain broadcaster consent to redistribute broadcast programming over their multichannel distribution systems, KSBY noted on its website, adding that other business contracts prohibit the providers from carrying replacement network and syndicated programming from sources outside the market area.
The so-called retransmission consent agreements that broadcasters negotiate with satellite and cable providers typically include a programming fee, among other provisions, according to KSBY’s statement. The dispute between KSBY’s owner and DirecTV focused on that. Contract disputes are not unique to KSBY.
In October 2013, a contract dispute between KEYT-TV and DirecTV halted service for two weeks.