Illinois-based Quincy Newspapers has blocked DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV) from carrying broadcast stations covering 10 Midwestern markets, with the two sides unable to reach agreement on retransmission fee renewals.
"Quincy Newspapers has blocked its local stations unless DirecTV customers pay more than three times as much to get the same shows they can still have for free over the air and often online," reads a DirecTV statement. "We intend to return all of the stations to our line up soon and have asked for our customers' patience since it has a direct impact on their bill.
Responding to the Cedar Falls Courier, Jim McKernan, VP of Quincy station KWWL, said, "We don't expect it to go on long. Having said that, anything is possible. But we're working diligently to resolve the matter as quickly as possible."
Affected markets include Oak Hill, West Va., South Bend, Indiana, Rockford, Ill., Rochester, Minn., Sioux City and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Madison, Wis., among others.
It's the first retrans war for DirecTV since 53 Raycom stations blocked their signals on the satellite carrier back in September.
- read this Cedar Falls Courier story
Special Report: Blackout warning: The 5 biggest potential pay-TV carriage wars in 2015
DirecTV ditches Rob Lowe ad campaign that helped drive sub growth by 60%
DirecTV class action suit over early termination fees reaches Supreme Court
DirecTV's Goswitz: Satellite operator to have 50-70 4K channels by 2020