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
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.

Connect with John
X: @J_Finns

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