DirecTV, Quincy Reach Retrans Deal

Stations Return After 15-Hour Blackout

Less than a day after they went dark, about a dozen TV stations in six states owned by Quincy Newspapers are returning to DirecTV customers after the parties agreed to a retransmission consent deal.

Quincy stations in Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and West Virginia went dark to DirecTV customers at midnight central time on Tuesday.  About 15 hours later, the channels were making their way back on the satellite giant’s lineup.

DirecTV had claimed that Quincy was asking a for a rate increase of up to three times what it had been paid in the past. At the time, Quincy said that it continued talks with the satellite provider and hoped to reach a resolution soon.

On one of its station websites, KTIV in Sioux City, Ia., regional vice president Jerry Watson confirmed an agreement had been reached and the channels were restored.

“We were as surprised as everyone else our station was dropped by Direct TV,” Watson said in a statement. “We thought we were in ‘good faith negotiations.’ Distributors of broadcast stations, such as Direct TV, pay broadcasters for the right to carry our signals and resell our programming to their subscribers for profit. We very much regret our viewers get caught in the crossfire but as 60 year free over the air broadcasters, we must protect ourselves.”

DirecTV also seemed pleased a deal was reached.

“Quincy Newspapers ended its unnecessary blackout of DirecTV customers’ homes less than 15 hours after it had begun,” DirecTV said in a statement. “We’re pleased these families needn’t endure any further inconvenience or disruption of their local channels.”