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September 27, 2012

Longest. Blackout. Ever. (Or At Least of 2012) – Top 7 Blackouts of the Year

2012 has seen no shortage of retransmission consent disputes resulting in broadcasting stations going dark. Just ask DirecTV and Cablevision subs who are currently without Northwest Broadcasting and Tribune stations, respectively. But while those blackouts have lasted more than a month, there have been others this year that have lasted even longer. Take a look at CableFAX’s list of the 7 longest-running blackouts of the ’12 retrans season. Why 7? Because we’re hoping to hit the 7th inning stretch soon, and get a reprieve from the squabbling. (Hat tip to Mediacom’s Tom Larsen, who has been keeping close tabs on disputes.)

1.     Shentel-Allbritton (WJLA). 271 day and counting: Jan 1, 2012 – present. This is exactly what smaller operators are complaining about when they say they don’t get the same sort of press as their larger counterparts for a broadcast blackout. This has been a hot one, and it even involves a big market station. In July, the FCC Media Bureau rejected a retrans negotiation complaint Allbriton filed against the operator, which serves parts of WV, VA and MD. Allbritton argued that Shentel had failed to negotiate in good faith for carriage of in-market ABC affil WJLA-TV (DC). The broadcaster had wanted to force the operator into a proposal it had previously offered (and Allbriton had initially rejected), but the FCC said that once a counter offer was made, Shentel wasn’t bound by the initial offer.
 
2.     Time Warner Cable – Cordillera. 165 days: Dec 13, 2011-May 25, 2012. While this one started at the end of ’11, we’re counting it as a 2012 blackout since it didn’t get settled until the year was nearly halfway over. This dispute left Corpus Christi, TX, subs without NBC affil KRIS, for the Super Bowl. Also included in the blackout were Telemundo affil KAJA and CW affil KDF for more than 5 months. TWC handed out thousands of over-the-air antennas, partnered with rival DirecTV to host a Super Bowl viewing party and pointed subs to NBC On Demand content.
 
3.     DISH – Silverton Broadcasting/Wyomedia/Mark III. 123 days: Jan 1, 2012 – May 2, 2012. This spat involved several local broadcast stations serving Casper and Cheyenne, Wyoming, including ABC affil KTWO and Fox affil KFNB. DISH balked at the broadcasters’ offer, saying it meant a rate increase of more than 250%. The stations argued that DISH wanted to pay significantly less than other MVPDs in the area. It eventually got worked out, but not before subs missed some Broncos games and other local programming.
 
4.     DISH – Meredith (Peachtree TV- Turner Broadcasting). 112 days: Jan 26, 2012 – May 16, 2012. This one is a little confusing. In ’11, Meredith took over management of Atlanta’s Peachtree TV, but it remains the property of Turner. Braves fans were hit hardest, with viewers in the metro Atlanta area unable to watch the team’s home opener. Fans missed 10 games total, with Peachtree airing about 45 games a year.
 
5.     DirecTV – Northwest. 46 days and counting. Aug 13, 2012 – present. Earlier this summer, it looked like this negotiation could end without fireworks. Multiple extensions were granted, but then on Aug 13 Northwest’s Fox stations in Spokane and Yakima-Pasco-Richland-Kennewick, WA, as well as Binghamton, NY, and Medford-Klamath Falls, OR, disappeared. DirecTV has been sending viewers to Hulu and Fox.com for primetime series. It’s even provided regular updates on NFL games, noting that Seahawks games are not blacked out on NFL Sunday Ticket. For its part, Northwest says it has been trying to reach a deal since late ’10 and has ceased negotiations with the satellite provider.
 
6.     Golden West Telecom – Hoak Media. 44 Days: Jan 5, 2012 – Feb 17, 2012. SD’s Golden West lost ABC affil KSFY as the two bickered over money. As per usual, the distributor said the rate was too high, while the broadcaster said Golden West was offering up below market proposals. Worth noting: The broadcaster directed subs to free online versions of ABC programming and local newscasts.
 
7.     Cablevision – Tribune. 42 days and counting. Aug 17, 2012 – present. (Blackout of WTIC-Fox in Hartford, CT, began Aug 25).  Here’s a blowup that appears to be about more than just price. Cablevision has said the major barrier to a deal is Tribune attempting to tie carriage of the Hartford Fox affil to less popular Tribune channels (CW and MyNetwork TV affils). While the MSO claims such bundling is illegal, Tribune says it’s completely lawful and actually benefits viewers. On Aug 17, 4 Tribune stations (all CW and MyNetwork stations) went dark on Cablevision. On Aug 25, with no retrans deal in place, Cablevision had to bid goodbye to WTIC as well as WGN America.






Comments (20) for "Longest. Blackout. Ever. (Or At Least of 2012) – Top 7 Blackouts of the Year"
1.
I want tribune back tire of this bs
Posted by I want tribune back on Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 09:05 PM
2.
im getting tired of not having my fox channel i always pay my bill full every month and this should not happen the only reason i keep hanging on is my husband loves all the spanish channels but im getting tired of waiting and giving a few more months and then im gone ive been with u for more than 10 years and im tired of losing my shows i want my x factor and all of them.
Posted by barbara on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 @ 11:32 PM
3.
I\'m getting tired of paying for my local fox station and getting nothing in return. If this keeps going on, I may change providers. I\'m paying you guys enough each month to make a car payment and there is no excuse for not reaching an agreement with Fox.
Posted by jim on Saturday, October 6, 2012 @ 03:51 PM
4.
When i signed my contract and agreed to pay a certain price, it was for an advertised list of channels. I can not watch the MLB playoffs or other shows. Whsn do I get to call foul and get out of my contract without penalty. I dont pay $100 a month to watch old tv on the internet.
Posted by when do i get to cla on Sunday, October 14, 2012 @ 04:55 PM
5.
Why are we not getting the Lakers? We used to get them on Fox Sports West Channel 692. What\'s going on? This is a major factor for us. Are you or are you not going to be carrying them?
Posted by Russ Juergens on Monday, October 15, 2012 @ 02:54 PM
6.
Fox is the broadcast network for Big-12 conference football. We are in the middle of the college football season, and I cannot get the KSU-WVU game this Saturday which is a top-25 matchup. Incredible! Deceptive advertising on DTV\'s part to get me to sign a two-year contract on a service that lacks a major national network, all over a most-favored-nation clause in a contract?!?!?!? Unbelievable!!!! Time to join in the class action lawsuits......
Posted by John Stevenson on Thursday, October 18, 2012 @ 01:47 PM
7.
Will you be getting Time Warner sports net or not??? I will cancel my directv if not!!!!
Posted by Karen on Thursday, October 18, 2012 @ 10:57 PM
8.
I think all of US subscribers should file a class action lawsuit since this is becoming an ongoing problem that both sides feel they are right. Both DirectTV and Northwest Brodcasting are a bunch of \"Bullies\" clouded by the dollar instead of doing what is right. It\'s time they pay all of us back and the Attorney General needs to get involved to put an end to these terrible tactics once and for all. Any lawyer wanting to handle this, Im number one on the list for damages, and I have no problem paying my portion to handle these clowns once and for all. Both these companies need to be taught a lesson.
Posted by Josh on Monday, October 22, 2012 @ 11:33 AM
9.
we need all our sports channels, we pay our bill on time, so please stop this control over us, it seems that you control our tv veiwings, dont forget if it wasent for us, you would not have a job.
Posted by jessie on Monday, October 22, 2012 @ 12:32 PM
10.
All right gentlemen lets get the testosterone in check and get this resolved. Somehow I really don\'t think you all care how many customers threaten to leave or even leave. We are paying every month and we are not getting the service we are paying for. But you big cats sitting up there in your big offices don\'t really give a crap. Get back out there on the playground and play the game. Taking your ball and going home is not the answer
Posted by Sherri on Wednesday, October 24, 2012 @ 11:51 AM
11.
We live in the Endicott / Binghamton NY Area. We cannot watch the playoffs or World Series or regular season Yankees on channel 40 FOX WICZ via DirecTV. I just called DISH and they said that we would not have any problems watching these ballgames if we had DISH. DISH said that they do not have any conflicts between themselves and FOX, like DirecTV does. Is it time to switch? What do you think? Easy question. Easy answer.
Posted by John on Wednesday, October 24, 2012 @ 07:32 PM
12.
I am very upset that the pac12 network is not available. I would hope that the upper direct tv management should be working harder. My contract is up in April otherwise I would change today..... I would rather stay ... however ... how does a company negotiate for a network? how many subscribers are lost because of this major sports network????
Posted by Iva on Thursday, October 25, 2012 @ 09:44 PM
13.
We pay our bill on time every month and if we dont get to watch the Lakers we will cancel. Also im sure local bars will cancel and get Time Warner because the bars would lose money if they cant show sports in their establishments. In the end Direct TV will lose subscribers and that means They will lose MONEY!
Posted by Julie on Monday, October 29, 2012 @ 06:54 PM
14.
Looking into Time Warner. They have great deals plus the Lakers & UCLA football.
Posted by David on Monday, November 5, 2012 @ 09:16 PM
15.
I agree with the person who wants to get a cl ass action suit against Direct tv for not providing coverage of the Laker games which we are paying for. I was told we will not be getting a Refund on the part of the season that has been taken away from us either. Never heard of this kind of business . I urge people to think seriously about this action. We \'ve become victims of their silly dollar games. I will cancel Direct tv if this matter isn\'t settled right away.

I
Posted by Ann martines on Thursday, November 8, 2012 @ 11:38 PM
16.
According to DirecTV, KTHV (the Little Rock CBS affiliate) is demanding that the fee that DirecTV pays to them more than double from before. I would say that KTHV is the company that is most to blame for the problem. They have already negotiated a deal with Dish for a fee increase, but only after blacking out their service. If you switch to Dish or Comcast, you will just go through this again the next time a local station or network decides to jump up the fees that the cable or satellite company has to pay to carry the channel(s). It\'s not just DirecTV, the stations and networks do it to all the channel providers.
Posted by JD on Friday, November 30, 2012 @ 03:16 PM
17.
Dish is just as bad, just dropped DTV two months ago to get FOX NW, and now Dish is screwing me out of Fox on there broadcast, I despise ALL of them!
Posted by Pete on Friday, December 21, 2012 @ 04:18 PM
18.
I do this for a living. I have been a programmer in TV for over 25 years. I can understand both sides of the argument. Video providers (stations, cable channels, etc) do not get the product they provide viewers for free. Viewers receive those products for free if they so choose, or via a distribution service for which they pay. Those distribution services offering stations, networks or cable channels for a fee should pay for the right to retransmit those channels. So far I don\'t think many would disagree. The issue then becomes what is fair and justifiable compensation. Many would be shocked to discover that some cable channels charge cable operators well over $5 PER SUBSCRIBER for their service. Any way you do the math that is a ton of cash. Stations or services that ask a fraction of that amount should not be chastised for seeking a fair compensation. I can assure you stations are paying studios millions of dollars every year for the right to broadcast the shows you watch. I\'ve signed the checks. I know the numbers. The answer is to find a balance of fortune. Force all cable and satellite providers to provide the channels they offer ala carte and not bundled or packaged in such a manner that you have to pay for 10 channels to get the one you really want to watch. Let viewers decide what are the most valuable channels for their preferences. Then the distribution services pay those channels based on the percentage of viewers that watch the station in question over their distribution set up. Why won\'t this work? Because it is too logical and does not allow studios and video distributors ultimate control over what you watch. And if they don\'t control what you watch they don\'t make as much money. Perhaps one day someone will figure out how to create a balance of fortune that favors the people and not the corporations.
Posted by Fan of TV on Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 03:35 PM
19.
IS CHANNEL 13, KRDO, FROM COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO, GOING TO BE SHUT OFF ON OCTOBER 9TH?
NEED TO KNOW NOW, SO WE CAN MAKE PLANS, THAT IS OUR MOST WATCHED STATION.
LANI AND TRACY WHITEHEAD
WOODLAND PARK, COLORADO
Posted by LANI WHITEHEAD on Friday, October 4, 2013 @ 10:30 PM
20.
I CAN NOT BELIEVE THAT DIRECT TV DID NOT LET INSP STAY ON SINCE IT WOULD NOT COST DIRECT TV ANY MONEY. MAYBE INSP CAN\'T OR WILL NOT PAY FOR THEIR TIME BUT DIRECT TV PAYS OTHER STATIONS FOR THEIR TIME.
Posted by j.reeves on Sunday, February 2, 2014 @ 07:19 PM

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