DirecTV reassures Golf Channel viewers, for now

It's not exactly a retransmission dispute, but DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV) is looking for ways to control programming costs and many of those looks have been in the direction of Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA)-owned channels.

With the current contract for The Golf Channel expiring Dec. 31, DirecTV has been making noises that it might not re-up and golfers have been making noises right back at the satellite provider. "If they don't make a deal, DirecTV will lose many, many armchair and actual golfers. For many, it's the main reason they get a monthly package," said golf industry analyst Nick Green.

On the other hand, DirecTV has been known to take posturing the extra step. It turned off Comcast's Versus channel for a period of time in another dispute and has made it clear that it feels it's being overcharged for underwatched products. The satellite provider could be sweating a bit, though, since it's placed a message on its Web site advising subscriber to "enjoy your DirecTV service as you do today" because "there is nothing you need to do at this time."

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