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DirecTV Defends Request To Exclude Military From Tegna Station Blackout

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Tegna released a statement yesterday accusing DirecTV of not taking negotiations seriously. This follows the development last week which saw a number of local channels being dropped from DirecTV, DirecTV Stream, and U-verse TV packages.

According to Tegna, while it is focused on agreeing a deal that restores channels for all customers, DirecTV is not. In an example of this, Tegna revealed that DirecTV had requested to only restore channels for military and government facilities, effectively leaving the majority of the affected customers in the dark.

This, according to Tegna, was an example of how DirecTV is not negotiating seriously, and making offers which amount to nothing more than PR stunts.

In a statement to Streaming Better, DirecTV has responded to those claims by accusing Tegna of not supporting U.S. servicemen and women, and “weaponizing this blackout to extract rate increases.”

According to DirecTV, agreeing to its military exclusion request would not only have allowed those serving to access news, entertainment, and sports in general, but also this weekend’s Army-Navy game.

Here’s DirecTV’s statement in full.

DirecTV provides programming to more than 500 facilities in the nation’s military bases, U.S. Capitol buildings, key government offices, and shore-to-ship transmissions to U.S. naval vessels. We privately sought Tegna’s permission to restore its signals exclusively to military and federal institutions while we continue to negotiate a new agreement, which would’ve allowed DirecTV to once again deliver the news, entertainment and sports including Saturday’s Army-Navy game from Tegna’s stations. Unfortunately, Tegna, a U.S. government-licensed broadcaster whose own mission statement is to ‘serve the greater good of our communities’, intentionally deprived our U.S. servicemen and women and other government workers by weaponizing this blackout to extract rate increases for programming that Tegna itself promotes as available for free over-the-air or on direct-to-consumer services.

Whether intentionally or not, it now looks like both sides have resorted to using this military exclusion request as a way to defend their position on a blackout which has left millions of customers without access to some of their local channels.

While this dispute rages on, for those affected by this blackout and looking to watch the Army vs Navy game on Saturday, it is available to watch by accessing an over-the-air local CBS station. Alternatively, the NCAA game will also be available to stream live with a Paramount+ with Showtime subscription.

John Finn

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