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Super Bowl Will Air in Boston

Sunbeam and DirecTV reach retrans deal
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Patriots fans can relax. There will be no blackout in Boston of the Super Bowl on DirecTV.

The satellite TV company said Thursday it reached a retransmission deal with Sunbeam Television, allowing it to carry WHDH, the NBC affiliate broadcasting the big game; WLVI, The CW affiliate in Boston; and WSVN, the Fox affiliate in Miami.

The Sunbeam stations have been dark on DirecTV since Jan. 14.

If the two were unable to reach a deal, more than 200,000 DirecTV subscribers in Boston would have had to resort to other means to watch the game, either over the air or subscribe to a competing cable system. 

Terms were not disclosed. Early in the standoff, DirecTV claimed that Sunbeam was asking for a 300 percent fee hike to carry the stations.

In a statement, DirecTV threw in a plug for retransmission reform. 

"We believe, like many, that the public interest is best served by allowing customers to keep their local broadcast stations as we negotiate future agreements, rather than being denied access by broadcast stations and used as leverage in what should be a private business matter," the company said.

Though the Federal Communications Commission has opened up a rulemaking on retransmission reform, it stopped short of proposing that TV stations should be forced to allow pay TV providers to carry programming during retransmission negotiations.