DirecTV and Cox Media Group have reached a new agreement, bringing to an end a carriage dispute that had left many DirecTV, DirecTV Stream and U-verse customers without access to various Cox-owned stations.
The new agreement takes effect immediately so DirecTV customers in affected areas should begin to see the stations return to their channel lineup shortly, if they have not already.
“Cox Media Group (CMG) and DIRECTV have officially reached a new multi-year agreement that will restore all CMG stations on DirecTV, DirecTV Stream and U-verse, effective immediately,” the joint statement read.
After being warned in late January of the potential for a carriage dispute, DirecTV customers lost access to 12 stations owned by Cox Media Group in early February. Following the loss of the channels, both companies started blaming each other for the situation. Cox, for example, argued this was a pattern of behavior and accused DirecTV of being on a “mission against local journalism.”
At the same time, DirecTV accused CMG of attempting to “penalize its viewers twice.” Firstly by removing the channel and secondly by trying to ensure they retain the channel lineup at “an unwarranted higher rate.”
While the announcement confirmed the end of the dispute, it did not provide any additional details on the terms of the agreement. As a result, it remains unclear what finally brought the dispute to an end, including whether DirecTV did agree to higher rates and/or whether their return will result in a subscriber price increase.
The joint announcement did state that “DirecTV and CMG greatly appreciate the patience of their subscribers and viewers.”
This is the second dispute DirecTV has resolved in 2024 so far. After a number of Tegna-owned stations were removed in early December, the companies announced a new agreement in January, just two weeks before the Cox-owned stations were removed as part of this latest carriage dispute.
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