More than 10 million DirecTV subscribers have lost local TV stations owned by Nexstar, in the latest high-profile dispute over carriage of its pay-TV business.
The most recent battle was between DirecTV, the satellite TV giant, and Nexstar, the local TV giant that owns about 159 TV stations across the country. Nexstar said Sunday that its channels have gone dark on DirecTV and its multi-channel streaming product, DirecTV Stream, after the companies failed to reach a new agreement.
Affected stations include affiliates of all major broadcast networks, as well as The CW, which was acquired by Nexstar last year. It also includes NewsNation, the cable news channel operated by Nexstar.
The timing is unfortunate, with Nexstar warning that DirecTV subscribers could miss the MLB All Star Game or the Women’s World Cup because of the dispute. Nexstar says it was asking the same prices it had negotiated with other distribution partners.
DirecTV, in its own statement, said that Nexstar was asking for a price increase, as well as requiring DirecTV to carry The CW and “low-rated channels” in its lineup. The company also cited previous transportation disputes involving Nexstar.
Of course, DirecTV has had major carriage disputes of its own in the past year, including with conservative cable channel Newsmax and with Fox Corp.
“Nexstar remains hopeful that a solution can be found quickly to return to viewers favorite network programming, live sporting events, in-depth local news, and other local content relevant to their communities, as well as critical emergency updates for which DirecTV charges subscribers,” the company said.