TV Answer Man

Carriage Dispute Settled, Ending Eight-Month Blackout

Oct 11, 2019  •  Post A Comment

A carriage dispute that has dragged on for almost eight months has been resolved between AT&T and Northwest Broadcasting, meaning 20 local stations owned by Northwest can return to DirecTV, U-verse and AT&T TV Now, TV Answer Man reports.

“The three TV services lost the Northwest stations on February 22 when AT&T and Northwest could not reach a new programming agreement. (Northwest owns around 20 local channels in 10 markets, including Syracuse, New York, Spokane, Washington, Yuma, Arizona, Yakima, Washington, and Billie’s Greenville, among others.)” the story reports.

The report adds: “The dispute lasted longer than usual and Northwest’s relatively small size was likely a factor. Northwest has far fewer stations than some local channel owners such as Sinclair and Nexstar, and most of them are in relatively small markets. Consequently, it was easier for AT&T to play hardball with Northwest because the impact of the blackout would be smaller on subscribers.”

The report notes that the media largely ignored the standoff, meaning there wasn’t as much pressure on the parties to end it.

The report quotes a statement released Thursday by Northwest saying: “Northwest regrets the inconvenience this has placed on our valued viewers. Resumption of carriage may vary from market-to-market as it is at the discretion of DirecTV.”

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