DirecTV blacked out by Sunbeam stations in Boston and Miami

DirecTV (NYSE: T) has been blacked out by Sunbeam stations in Boston and Miami after the two sides failed to come to terms on a new broadcast retransmission licensing agreement. 

Boston NBC affiliate WHDH-TV and Miami, Fla. Fox affiliate WSVN-TV went dark on DirecTV program guides over the weekend. 

"Unfortunately, negotiations were not successful," WHDH general manager Paul Magnes said.

Responded DirecTV owner AT&T: "Sunbeam has temporarily suspended its stations from our customers several times before, so we appreciate their patience as we work to resolve this matter quickly, reasonably, and with the least possible inconvenience."

If this latest retrans dispute has a familiar ring to it, that's because the two sides had a similar two-week tiff back in January 2012, with DirecTV blacked out on the same affiliates. 

DirecTV had complained that Sunbeam had been pushing it to pay a 300 percent increase in retransmission consent fees, but it didn't say how much of an increase it agreed to. 

For its part, Sunbeam is also locked in a court battle with Comcast/NBCUniversal, over the latter company's decision not to renew its NBC network affiliation agreement. 

NBCU is slated to serve Boston with an owned-and-operated station, starting in January.

For more:
- read this Broadcasting & Cable story
- read this Advanced Television story

Related articles:
Jilted Boston NBC affiliate WHDH files appeal against Comcast
Judge tosses out suit against Comcast filed by jilted Boston affiliate
Wheeler: FCC won't add to retrans regulation

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