Pappas Telecasting’s standoff with DirecTV

As of April 1st two of my local broadcast channels, owned by Pappas Telecasting, ceased to be carried by DirecTV.  Statements on the website of my local station try to convince DirecTV customers to switch providers in an obvious attempt to pressure the satellite provider.  Based on the comments posted to that broadcaster’s site I’d say that the attempt is backfiring.  Speaking only for myself, I am a long time DirecTV customer and have NO intention of switching providers.  I have spent quite a while this evening switching my DVR to an alternate ABC affiliate to record my favorite ABC shows.  When / if this standoff concludes, I have no intention of switching back.  My local Pappas station (KHGI otherwise known as NTV) has lost me as a viewer…

The following is a statement from Dan Hartman, DIRECTV senior vice president of Programming

After repeatedly ignoring our requests to not disrupt our customers’ programming, Pappas Telecasting demanded the removal of its five local broadcast stations in four markets to force us to accept a deal that would more than double Pappas’ annual licensing fees. Pappas also demanded they be paid at least a year’s worth of those fees in advance.

We have no problem compensating Pappas fairly, but we’re a video distributor, not an ATM. Pappas’ demand for fees that are well over twice what they are currently receiving threatens our customers with further increases in their monthly programming bills. That is unacceptable. And Pappas’ condition that it will provide access to local news and other programs of interest only if they receive their money upfront is deplorable. It’s arrogant and a complete affront to the public trust.

Loyal customers must never be placed into the middle of what should be a private business matter, and thankfully in this case, some of our customers are already eligible to receive a replacement station.

While we regret Pappas’ actions, we appreciate DIRECTV customers’ patience as we work toward a resolution so we can continue to provide them with the best video experience at the most reasonable cost.

more information can be found here