Fresno Beehive

When will KSEE24, CBS47 return to DirecTV? It’s still unclear, but negotiations resuming

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Curtis Carroll, of West Sacramento, a digital antenna enthusiast, holds an RCA digital antenna as he demonstrates how to use one to get around the DirecTV blackout of KCRA Channel 3 in the Sacramento region.
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Curtis Carroll, of West Sacramento, a digital antenna enthusiast, holds an RCA digital antenna as he demonstrates how to use one to get around the DirecTV blackout of KCRA Channel 3 in the Sacramento region.

Last week, DirecTV subscribers across the U.S. lost access to some of their local affiliate stations as part of a contract dispute between AT&T, DirecTV’s parent company, and Nexstar Media.

More than 120 stations were affected, including Fresno-area NBC and CBS affiliates KSEE24 and CBS47.

In competing news releases, AT&T and Nexstar blamed each other and neither offered much information about a possible resolution – though it appears they will resume negotiations this week.

In a statement Thursday, AT&T said it has offered Nexstar “new rates in multiple good faith proposals,” but the company “has slow-rolled any talks, made immaterial concessions against these unprecedented demands, and only offered to meet for the first time when it suited Nexstar leadership best – this Friday – or nine days after removing its stations.”

AT&T claims Nexstar is demanding roughly double the fees for stations. It’s the largest fee increase to be presented to DirecTV in similar negotiations, the company said.

Nexstar, meanwhile, is touting statements from legislators in eight states, including Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, John Thune of South Dakota and John Neely Kennedy of Louisiana.

In a letter to both companies, Blumenthal made it clear he had no definitive position supporting either side. He said the cutoff “seems to have the sole purpose of enhancing DirecTV bargaining leverage – with severe harm to Connecticut consumers.”

Kennedy said he was concerned the ”failure to reach an agreement is negatively impacting Louisiana families,” especially as it relates to weather information. “I encourage you to accept Nexstar’s offer of a short-term extension while you resolve your differences,” the letter read.

In response, AT&T announced the creation of a dedicated emergency weather channel in affected markets.

“These emergency information services,” the company said, “will feature local news coverage from affected cities.”

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