Dispute may strike out some World Series viewing

Editor's Note: Read an update posted before Tuesday's game in "Mid-Missouri Fox affiliate back on DirecTV for World Series game."

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If you’re a DirecTV customer who is wanting to cheer on the Cardinals in the World Series, you may need to dust off those TV antennas.

As of Monday afternoon, no agreement had been reached between DirecTV and the local ABC and FOX affiliates and a sister station.

The World Series, which is being exclusively aired on FOX stations, begins Wednesday and features the St. Louis Cardinals against the Boston Red Sox.

The three stations in the Jefferson City/Columbia market have been off the satellite service since Oct. 9 after the two sides could not reach an agreement on a new contract.

Gene Steinberg, general manager for the stations, said they remain optimistic a deal could be reached soon.

“We’ve got all our fingers crossed,” he said.

At the heart of the matter is DirecTV wanting the rights to place the station’s signals on the Internet and mobile devices, Steinberg said.

“We don’t have those rights for the ABC and FOX programs,” Steinberg said. “We asked them to let us continue with what we have, and when we do get those rights, we can negotiate in good faith on those. But that hasn’t happened.”

DirecTV did not return calls for comment.

The stations have received numerous calls from DirecTV customers since the stations carry many popular programs as well as Missouri Tiger football and the World Series.

“We always point out that our signals can still be picked up free over the air, on local cable systems and on Dish Network,” he said.

Steinberg also said there are nine other broadcast groups in the country that are also going through re-negotiations with DirecTV.

“Our company has an affiliate in Palm Springs, which carries the Los Angeles Dodgers and has also been going through DirecTV negotiations,” Steinberg said. “I talked with the general manager, and we said one of us would be in a firestorm if our team won the National League Series. While we’re glad the Cardinals won, we’re sorry this happened.”

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