Tribune Pulls Stations Off the Air in 19 Markets in Contract Dispute Bloomberg

Tribune pulled television stations in 19 markets off the air over the weekend, including WPIX-TV in New York and WGN-TV in Chicago, reports Bloomberg.

The blackout comes as a contract between Tribune and DirecTV expired and after two months of negotiations, the story notes. Without the Tribune stations, many viewers in the markets will be unable to watch shows including "American Idol" and Major League Baseball broadcasts because Tribune owns the Fox or CW affiliates in those areas, the piece notes.

“DirecTV has never compensated Tribune for the rebroadcast of its television stations and Tribune is asking for an agreement that is similar to those that DirecTV already has in place with hundreds of other broadcasters and program providers,” Tribune said in a statement.

DirecTV said Tribune is asking for a price "that is far above market value and that's not fair to our customers," the story adds.

On Saturday, DirecTV said the two sides had reached a "handshake deal," which Tribune denied later in the day, saying the statement left them "puzzled," the piece adds.