DirecTV drops signals for local ABC station

DirecTV dropped the signals for KMIZ ABC-17 and two sister stations at noon Wednesday over contract disputes.

The termination includes FOX 22/KQFX and MyZouTV, and affects DirecTV customers in the Jefferson City/Columbia areas.

DirectTV does not carry MeTV, which is part of KMIZ’s “Networks of Mid-Missouri” stations, so it is not included in the dispute.

DirecTV and the stations have been in negotiations for several weeks. Their contract expired on Sept. 30, but the stations granted DirecTV an extension until noon Wednesday in an effort to avoid a disruption of service.

The negotiations involve the price DirecTV is willing to pay to rebroadcast the stations’ signals.

Gene Steinberg, general manager of the stations, said in a statement that he was “disappointed that DirecTV would deprive its subscribers of the stations’ highly rated national and local programming.”

But he added that it only affects DirecTV subscribers. The signals still can be received free over the air, on local cable systems and the Dish Network.

Steinberg said the core dispute also involves “DirecTV’s demand for the right to place the stations’ signals on the Internet without paying a fair price.”

He said DirecTV pays less-popular program providers more than five times the rate the stations are asking DirecTV for their signals.

In an interview, he said the length of the contract is not at issue. Steinberg declined to say how long the agreement would be for, but said it would be a multi-year deal.

The termination prevents DirectTV subscribers from watching ABC and Fox network programs, including Fox’s coverage of National Football League games, baseball’s American League Championship Series that begins Saturday and — if the dispute lasts long enough — baseball’s World Series.

A spokesman for DirecTV could not be reached for comment.

Earlier coverage, posted at 4:14 p.m. Wednesday:

DirecTV dropped the signals for KMIZ ABC-17 and two sister stations at noon Wednesday over contract disputes.

The termination includes FOX 22/KQFX and MyZouTV, and affects DirecTV customers in the Jefferson City/Columbia areas.

DirectTV does not carry MeTV, which is part of KMIZ’s “Networks of Mid-Missouri” stations, so it is not included in the dispute.

DirecTV and the stations have been in negotiations for several weeks. Their contract expired on Sept. 30, but the stations granted DirecTV an extension until noon Wednesday in an effort to avoid a disruption of service.

The negotiations involve the price DirecTV is willing to pay to rebroadcast the stations’ signals.

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