Happy New Year! Hearst warns DirecTV deal could be a problem

It could be a less-than-happy new year for Hearst Television (NYSE: HTV) viewers who get their channels via DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV). That's because the programmer and the satellite provider are locked in another of these tedious retransmission battles.

Hearst is preparing for the worst, sending an e-mail to local media outlets in New Orleans laying out the details of the dispute, then posting it on the website of its local NBC affiliate, WDSU-Channel 6 and 28.

The notice was a doppelganger for others Hearst posted in Baltimore, Oklahoma City, Omaha and other Hearst markets that stated, "We believe that we and DirecTV can conclude our negotiations before January 1st so as not to deprive any of our respective viewers or customers of our programming. However, we want to advise our viewers and customers that the possibility of non-renewal of our current agreement exists."

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