Gannett, DirecTV avoid local TV blackout

Michelle Clancy | 03-12-2012

Gannett Broadcasting and satellite powerhouse DirecTV have reached a deal that will keep 23 local television stations on the air.
"Gannett and DirecTV have reached an agreement regarding DirecTV's continued retransmission of Gannett stations," was Gannett's only comment in the statement it issued on the matter. DirecTV noted that none of the stations across the nation had a service disruption following the contract's original expiration at midnight last Friday.
The deal was an 11th-hour one, narrowly avoiding a blackout, with the two trading words as has become typical in retransmission spats. Gannett said it was looking for "a fair, market-based deal". DirecTV said that Gannett was trying to "get customers angry and pressure DirecTV to accept a deal that would more than double the cost of their stations".
One way or another, the two have worked it out (terms were not disclosed), and a good thing too for NBC fans as Gannett is the largest independent owner of NBC stations, having 12 of them in its portfolio. It also owns six CBS affiliates, three ABC stations and two MyNetworkTV.
In the first half of the year, media companies withdrew programming from cable and satellite systems on more than 60 occasions, according to DirecTV.