DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV) had an overall winning record when it came to last-minute retransmission agreements, but still couldn't clean everything off its plate. The satellite provider reached an end-of-year settlement with Heart's television division but couldn't find any resolution with Northwest Broadcasting and its broadcast stations in New York State, Oregon, Texas and Washington State, which went dark at 12:01 a.m. New Year's Day.
As would be expected, DirecTV blamed the broadcasters for asking too much "in an attempt to extort fees that are astronomically higher than what we pay other local broadcasters," said DirecTV Chairman-CEO-President Mike White in a news release that openly suggested the FCC is interested in this and other retrans disputes.
Of course, Northwest disagreed. "In order for us to continue in the broadcast business we cannot allow DirecTV and companies like them to take advantage of their size and political muscle to bully us into subsidizing their business," said Northwest President-CEO Brian Brady.
In a smaller dispute, Frontier Radio Management pulled its Fox and ABC affiliates in Macon, Ga. after it failed to reach agreement with Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH) despite an offer by Dish to extend the talks.
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