Oh my, has it been three years already? Back in 2014 I told you all about the contract problems between Raycom Media and DIRECTV. It resulted in 53 stations across the country pulling their programming from DIRECTV for a short while. It took a little back-and-forth before there was a resolution, but at least it’s been quiet for a few years while the two companies have been living under a signed contract that keeps stations on the air.
And then… recently Raycom Media stations have been warning of a possible blackout on DIRECTV again. The stations affected are mostly in the southeast (Here’s Raycom’s own interactive map) but there are a few outliers all over the country.
I think we’ve all seen how these things go. There’s a lot of posturing, and then 99% of the time there’s a fast resolution “just in time” to save everyone’s TV programs. It always makes me a little suspicious when there is so much progress at “the eleventh hour.” Why can’t they make that much progress a week before and save everyone all the heartache?
Of course, as usual, it’s all about money. Raycom wants more of it, and DIRECTV wants to pay less of it. Broadcast ratings are at historic lows — I’ve said it before, it looks like about 90% of the TV audience is watching something else at any given time. Yet greedy broadcasters always want to charge more for their stations to be carried on cable and satellite outlets, and sooner or later it comes to a head.
Let’s hope this turns out to be a non-news story, but if you’re tired of companies like Raycom holding your TV programs hostage, why not get a TV antenna? Get all the programs on ABC, CBS, NBC, CW and more for free and never be held hostage by local broadcast carriage disputes!