DirecTV, Gormally in Retrans Dispute

Affects ABC, Fox Stations in Springfield, Mass.

DirecTV customers in the Springfield, Mass., area are without access to their local ABC and Fox broadcast affiliates after the satellite giant failed to reach a retransmission consent agreement with station owner Gormally Broadcasting.

DirecTV’s retrans agreement with Gormally, which broadcasts ABC on its WGGB station and Fox programming on its digital feed, expired on Nov. 30.

Pricing seems to be at the heart of the dispute.

“DirecTV has no problem compensating Gormally fairly, but demanding customers pay six times as much just to keep what they always had provides no additional value in exchange,” DirecTV said in a statement. “Gormally has now added Springfield to the list of 111 cities and counting where local broadcast station owners have intentionally blacked out their most loyal viewers in order to ransom back those same stations.”

Gormally claimed it is only seeking fair compensation for its content.

“When it comes to fees, all WGGB is asking for is to be paid what DirecTV is paying the other local network affiliates, NBC and CBS, to air their stations in Greater Springfield,” Gormally owner John Gormally said in a letter to viewers on the station’s web site. “Is that being unreasonable?”