DirecTV subs lose some local stations in retransmission tiff

DirecTV subscribers in Binghamton, N.Y., Medford, Ore., and Yakima and Spokane Wash., lost access to local content controlled by Northwest Broadcasting as the New Year rolled in--victims of a retransmission battle between Northwest and the satellite operator.

DirecTV said it had asked Northwest to continue to deliver its signals as negotiations went on, but the company "refused and demanded the channels be taken down." Northwest, meanwhile, said DirecTV left it "no choice but to pull the stations," which include WICZ-WBPN in Binghamton, KMVU in Medford, KFFX in Yakima and KAYU in Spokane.

"In order for us to continue in the broadcast business we cannot allow Direct TV and companies like them to take advantage of their size and political muscle to bully us into subsidizing their businesses," said Northwest CEO/President Brian Brady, who also is chairman of the Fox affiliates board.

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