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
John Finn

By John Finn

John Finn is the Founder and Editor of Streaming Better, a platform created in 2019 to help consumers navigate the complicated live TV streaming and subscription service market.

John has been covering technology for various online publications since 2014. After originally covering the wider tech industry as a writer and editor, John now spends his time focusing on the emerging video-streaming market, including live TV streaming, SVOD, AVOD, FAST, and TVOD services.

In a bid to keep up to date on the industry, John actively subscribes to multiple streaming services at the same time. However, John continues to advocate that the best approach for consumers is to rotate between streaming services as needed.

A Psychology graduate from England, who now lives in the US, John previously worked in the aviation industry as an airline reviewer. While reviewing airlines isn't quite the same as reviewing devices and streaming services, John brings the same analytical eye to all of his reviews and industry analysis, along with a special emphasis on what's best for the consumer.

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