News Press Gazette walks away from DIRECTV, 18 stations affected

Another day, another problem. DIRECTV has once again been forced to black out channels due to contract issues. This time, the issue is 18 stations owned by News Press & Gazette, operating in 10 cities throughout the western United States.

NPG, which owns a mix of stations ranging from the prestigious KESQ in Palm Springs to Yuma’s KECY, has decided to ask for the typically huge increase in retransmission fees. These are fees paid directly from a cable or satellite company to a TV station. The TV station will tell you that the cable company puts in its own commercials so the station loses money. The cable company will tell you it’s basically a shakedown. Both sides are basically correct.

What makes this blackout particularly bad is the fact that NPG owns several stations in some of its markets. So, you’re looking at people who are losing as much as half of their broadcast TV in this one dispute.

With new shows premiering in the next few days, the rush is on to find a solution. There’s a lot of money at stake when people start to look for new episodes. I do expect this to be a quick channel blackout.

Here is the list of affected stations, courtesy of Wikipedia.

City of license / Market Station Channel
TV (RF)
Owned Since Affiliation
El Centro, California – Yuma, Arizona KECY-TV 9 (9) 2008 Fox/MyNetworkTV
ABC (DT2)
The CW (DT3)
Telemundo (DT4)
KESE-LP 35 / 2008 Telemundo
KYMA-DT 11 (11) 2014 NBC
KSWT 13 (13) 2014 CBS
Monterrey – Salinas, California KMUV-LP 11 2013 Telemundo
KION-TV 46 (32) 2013 CBS
The CW (DT2)
Palm Springs – Indio, California KESQ-TV 42 (42) 1996 ABC
KDFX-CD 33 / 39 2008 Fox
KUNA-LP 15 / 1997 Telemundo
KCWQ-LP 2 (26) 2006 The CW
KPSP-CD 38 (38) 2012 CBS
Santa Barbara – Santa Maria –
San Luis Obispo, California
KEYT-TV 3 (27) 2012 ABC
MyNetworkTV/RTV (DT2)
KCOY-TV 12 (19) 2013 CBS
KKFX-CD 24 2013 Fox
Colorado Springs, Colorado KRDO-TV 13 (24) 2006 ABC
Telemundo (DT2)
Idaho Falls – Pocatello, Idaho KIFI-TV 8 (8) 2005 ABC
Telemundo (DT2)
The CW (DT3)
KIDK 3 (36) 2011 CBS
Fox/MyNetworkTV (DT2)
KXPI-LD 34 (34) 2011 Fox/MyNetworkTV
Columbia – Jefferson City, Missouri KMIZ 17 (17) 2012 ABC
MyNetworkTV (DT2)
MeTV (DT3)
KQFX-LD 22 (22) 2012 Fox
St. Joseph, Missouri KNPG-LD 21 (16) 2012 NBC/The CW
KBJO-LD 30 (30) 2016 Telemundo
KNPN-LD 26 (26) 2012 Fox
Telemundo (DT3)
News-Press 3 NOW 3 (cable) / 26.2 2012 News/weather
Bend, Oregon KTVZ 21 (21) 2007 NBC
The CW (DT2)
Fox (DT3)
KFXO-LD 39 (39) 2007 Fox
KQRE-LP 19 / 2007 Telemundo
El Paso, Texas – Las Cruces, New Mexico KVIA-TV 7 (17) 1995 ABC
The CW (DT2)
Weather (DT3)
Azteca América (DT4)
K42DJ 42 Unknown Azteca América

As I said, this will probably be a quick blackout but if you’re tired of this kind of thing happening, the solution is easy: get an antenna. Putting up an antenna guarantees that you’ll never be affected by a channel blackout. You’ll get free HDTV with nothing more to pay, and no one can take it away from you. It would take an act of Congress to end free TV broadcasting, and it looks like they’re busy with a lot of other stuff right now.