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Cox Warns DirecTV Carriage Dispute Could Lead To Local Channels Blackout

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Cox Media Group has warned of the possibility of DirecTV (and U-verse) customers losing access to CMG’s local TV stations, due to a carriage dispute. This comes less than two weeks after DirecTV and Tegna ended a dispute that had left customers without access to a number of channels since the beginning of December.

While the finer details of the disagreement remain unknown, Cox accused DirecTV of threatening “to rob customers” of access to local news, weather, traffic, and sports. The press release also accused DirecTV of “attacking local broadcast journalism.”

CMG is proud of our commitment to investing in best-in-class local news and investigative journalism,” said Marian Pittman, EVP of CMG. “We’re dismayed that DirecTV is trying to force a deal that would harm local journalism and broadcast stations. This hurts consumers who rely on our high-quality local news, weather, and entertainment programming.”

According to Cox, DirecTV has yet to agree a new carriage deal and this could result in DirecTV customers losing access to “breaking local news and weather, emergency information, live major sports and other entertainment programming provided by CMG’s local TV stations” as early as Feb. 2, when the existing agreement is due to expire.

The current deal between DirecTV and Cox was agreed in February 2021 and covered the CMG-owned stations serving the following 20 markets.

  • Alexandria, LA
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Binghamton, NY
  • Boston, MA
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Dayton, OH
  • Eureka, CA
  • Greenville-Greenwood, MS
  • Idaho Falls-Pocatello, ID
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Medford, OR
  • Memphis, TN
  • Orlando, FL
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Spokane, WA
  • Syracuse, NY
  • Tulsa, OK
  • Yakima-Tri Cities, WA
  • Yuma, AZ

Assuming no new deal is agreed before the Feb. 2 deadline, it is possible that DirecTV customers in a number of these markets could lose access to their CMG-owned local TV station.

John Finn

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