DirecTV: ‘A History Of Behaving Badly’


npgAs the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend unfolded, DirecTV found itself mired in yet another retransmission accord battle with a broadcast television station owner.

This owner isn’t pulling any punches as to what it thinks about the AT&T-owned DBS provider’s negotiations.

“We’re dealing with a company that has a history of behaving badly,” News-Press & Gazette Company said in a message to viewers 18 of its TV stations across the nation, which faded to grey on Jan. 12 on DirecTV.

The company noted DirecTV’s history of blacking out channels during negotiations, saying that DirecTV’s behavior now “is consistent with how they’ve handled multiple  local station blackouts and dozens of cable networks.”

News-Press & Gazette then apologized to its viewers.

“We’re sorry you’re caught in the middle … and it’s unfortunate you’re not being told the whole story by DirecTV,” it said. “At News-Press & Gazette Company, we value honesty. The truth is we do not know when we’ll be back on DirecTV.”

The family-owned broadcaster headquarted in St. Joseph, Mo., explained the concept of retransmission consent, noting, “Unfortunately, consumers can be held hostage if a powerful cable or satellite company refuses to reach a fair deal with a local station.”

In a statement, AT&T said News-Press & Gazette had “suspended its stations from our customers and threatened others before so we appreciate our DirecTV customers’ patience as we work to resolve this matter quickly and reasonably.”