Blackout Thursday: DirecTV comes to terms with Media General; Dish and U-verse still haggling with station groups

Media General said that it has reached a renewal deal for broadcast retransmission licensing with DirecTV (NYSE: T), avoiding a blackout that would have impacted 62 stations in 48 markets. 

"This fair resolution ensures that we can continue to provide top quality news, sports, entertainment and other local programming that is most important to you," said a post rendered on the websites of Media General stations.

The agreement culminated just one of three ongoing retrans impasses affecting nearly 130 stations. 

On Wednesday, Tegna Media (formally Gannett) said that it had agreed to a 24-hour extension on its talks with Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH), moving the deal deadline to 7 p.m. tonight. Tegna controls 46 stations in 25 markets and serves nearly 90 million viewers. 

No statements have leaked out of either camp so far this morning.

AT&T U-verse, meanwhile, continues to talk with Tribune Media on a new deal covering 24 stations. After talks went into Thursday morning, Tribune confirmed that it had also agreed to a 24-hour extension before blacking out its channels on the telco video provider.

The slow negotiations come after retrans fees grew 40 percent per pay-TV subscriber over the last year. The FCC has signaled that it's ready to make key changes to how it regulates retransmission licensing talks, and broadcasters are aggressively pushing for the best possible retrans deals before the regulatory landscape shifts. 

For more:
- read this Variety story
- read this other Variety story
- read this TV Predictions story

Related articles:
Tegna extends Dish 24 hours, as blackout-laden Thursday looms
Dish says Tegna rejected its retrans extension offer as blackout involving millions looms
AT&T facing Tribune blackout on U-verse, Media General interruption on DirecTV

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