Raycom Media stations’ websites have begun posting alerts for viewers that it could soon be blacked out by DirecTV.
Spotted by Multichannel News, the warnings appear as banner ads on Raycom station sites and include videos and notes from station staff explaining stations’ role in local communities and how carriage disputes can disrupt service.
“We know you don’t want to be dragged into our business negotiations or be asked to take sides. When a national cable or satellite company simply refuses to engage in fair, market-based negotiations, we have no choice but to stand our ground. After all, the revenue we generate is invested back into our community: providing local news, weather and coverage, network programming, supporting local events and charities and creating good jobs,” wrote Raycom on KNIN’s website.
The Raycom station then goes onto urge viewers to contact DirecTV about restoring or keeping Raycom affiliates' programming. The company also reminds viewers that they can turn to other pay-TV providers or free over-the-air signals if they want to continue receiving Raycom stations’ local content.
According to Satellite Business News, the current agreement expires on Aug. 31.
Raycom’s emerging carriage battle with DirecTV, which is owned by AT&T, follows another dust up earlier this year between Raycom and AT&T U-verse. In May, Raycom accused AT&T of using channel blackouts as a means of shifting subscribers onto its DirecTV platform.
“AT&T U-Verse, now combined with DirecTV, appears to be using programming disruptions as an opportunity to switch AT&T U-Verse customers to its DirecTV service,” Raycom said in a statement. “When disgruntled AT&T U-Verse subscribers call to lodge a complaint, they are offered a subscription with DirecTV, the very same company as AT&T. In some instances, subscribers are also pushed to DirecTV Now, a service that in many markets does not carry any local broadcast affiliates.”
AT&T responded by saying, “Raycom Media determines whether or not its stations remain in our U-verse customers’ lineups. We have asked Raycom numerous times to leave their stations up, and once they took them down, to put them back up. We have offered to compensate Raycom—even when out of contract—for events like the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament where a program of key interest is at risk. Our challenge to Raycom stands: Put your local stations back on and we will compensate you while we work privately to settle this issue. It’s also important for our customers to know that—other than Raycom—we have no other blackouts across the 21 states U-verse serves.”
The article was updated to include the date the agreement ends.