Sep 18, 2023 - Economy & Business

DirecTV and Nexstar finalize multiyear agreement, ending blackout

Photo Illustration by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

DirecTV and Nexstar have finalized a multiyear distribution agreement, ending a more than two-month blackout of Nexstar stations for DirecTV satellite, DirecTV Stream and U-verse customers.

Why it matters: The deal restores more than 170 Nexstar-owned stations across 120 metro areas. Nexstar is the largest owner of local TV stations in the country,

Details: Distribution of Nexstar's national news network NewsNation has also been renewed as part of the agreement.

  • In a statement, DirectTV CEO Bill Morrow thanked consumers for their patience during the blackout.
  • "We recognize that while you may be able to access some programming over-the-air or on a streaming service during these periods, that is not the experience you expect," he said.

Yes, but: The agreement doesn't cover the 27 stations across 25 metro regions that are owned by other broadcasters, White Knight and Mission Broadcasting (both controlled by Nexstar).

  • Those stations have been blocked for DirecTV customers for nearly a year.
  • DirecTV has filed a federal anti-trust suit against Nexstar over the matter.

Catch up quick: DirecTV removed local Nexstar stations from its TV products in July after the two sides failed to come to a distribution agreement renewal.

  • Nexstar previously said DirecTV declined to extend its agreement until Oct. 31.

The big picture: Channel blackouts have become more frequent in recent years as TV companies charge more for their content than cable and satellite providers want to pay, Axios has reported.

  • Disney and Charter reached a last-minute distribution deal earlier this month to avert a blackout of "Monday Night Football" on ESPN for nearly 15 million Charter Spectrum customers.
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