WKTV’s contract with DirecTV expires on August 10. Heartland Media, which is the parent company of WKTV in Utica, had tried to make an agreement with DirecTV over past 4 months for preventing interruption of services, but DirecTV has declined all of their proposals. As a result, WKTV will not remain in any of the DirecTV packages.
As a result, WKTV NewsChannel 2, NBC, CBS, and CW, programming like The Voice, Summer Olympics, NCIS, Sunday Night Football, The Flash, and more will not be accessible for DirecTV Choice package customers. It is said that WKTV has made successful carriage agreements with every other major satellite and cable telecommunications company except DirecTV.
WKTV Vice President & General Manager, Steve McMurray, said, “Content from local broadcast stations is the most watched programming on satellite and cable services. We are simply asking DirecTV to recognize the value of WKTV and come to an agreement like the one every other programming provider has done. We are continuing to negotiate with DirecTV, and are hopeful there will be no interruption of service for our viewers who subscribe to them.”
DirecTV customers, who want to continue watching WKTV, should either switch to a satellite provider or local cable such as Dish Network or Time Warner Cable, or try watching WKTV over-the-air with an antenna.
Dispute With Sunbeam
DirecTV is also in a similar fight with the Sunbeam. Sunbeam stations WHDH, WLVI, and WSVN went dark on DirecTV packages on July 15, when both sides failed to come to terms on carriage charges.
DirecTV parent AT&T said in a statement that, “We want to get these three stations back into our customers’ line-ups and share their frustration. The stations’ owner, Sunbeam Television, is prohibiting WHDH and WLVI in Boston and WSVN in Miami from reaching their homes unless they receive a significant increase in their current fees just to let the same families keep watching shows that remain available for free over-the-air and often online.”
“Sunbeam has kept its stations from our customers several times before, so we appreciate our customers’ patience as we work to get them back and attempt to resolve this matter with the least possible inconvenience,” AT&T representatives said in a press release.
A large number of DirecTV subscribers would not able to watch the Olympic Games on Sunbeam channels due to the dispute. Telecommunications analyst, Jeff Kagan, said that, “Viewers lose the ability to watch the TV channel. The problem for the carrier is that they lose the ability to keep the customer happy. And the problem to the channel is that they have fewer customers, so they aren’t able to charge as much.”