DirecTV, KFMB Settle Retrans Dispute

San Diego Station Returned to Satellite Subs at 5:30 PT Thursday

After about three weeks of darkness, CBS affiliate KFMB Channel 8 in San Diego returned to the lineup for DirecTV customers in the area on Sept. 3 when the two parties reached a new retransmission consent agreement.

KFMB went dark to DirecTV customers in the San Diego market on Aug. 13, about two hours before the local affiliate was set to air the first preseason game for the NFL San Diego Chargers. The dispute was over pricing – DirecTV claimed KFMB was demanding the satellite giant pay twice its old rate while the station stressed it was only asking for fair compensation for its content.

Terms of the new deal weren’t disclosed. On its website, KFMB, owned by independent Midwest Television Inc., apologized to viewers for the inconvenience.

“GREAT NEWS! Thank you for your patience and for your continued support of CBS 8 here in San Diego,” the station said on its website. “We are pleased to announced CBS 8 programming will be available on DirecTV effective 5:30pm PST Thursday, September 3, 2015.”

The dispute comes in plenty of time for the NFL regular season, which kicks off on Sept. 10 on NBC. While the hometown Chargers weren’t scheduled for CBS until Sept. 20,  the network was slated to broadcast a game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans  on Sept.13. The Chiefs are an important intradivision rival of the Chargers, so the game is expected to attract interest from local San Diego fans.

The agreement means that DirecTV has one remaining retrans dispute to settle before the regular season starts, with NBC affiliate KSL-TV in Salt Lake City. KSL went dark to DirecTV customers on Aug. 21 after the satellite giant went through three extensions to a retrans deal that officially was set to expire on June 30. DirecTV has said KSL is asking for fees that are almost three times its old rates. The station, owned by Bonneville International, a unit of the Mormon Church, has disputed that claim.