Santa Barbara Station Dropped from DirecTV in Retrans Fight

By Kevin Eck Comment

KEYT_directvViewers of Santa Barbara ABC affiliate KEYT won’t be able to watch their favorite ABC shows on DirecTV after the station and satellite provider failed to agree over retransmission fees Wednesday.

KEYT general manager Mark Danielson said in a statement on the News-Press & Gazette owned station’s website that DirecTV “terminated carriage” and he was disappointed “DirecTV would deprive its subscribers of KEYT’s highly rated national and local programming.”

DirectTV sent TVSpy a statement saying the opposite: “News-Press & Gazette Company (NPG) has blacked out 13 local broadcast stations to DIRECTV’s local customers and will not let us restore these channels unless DIRECTV commits to more than triple the price we currently pay to retransmit their “free” TV signals.” The statement added, “We simply won’t accept a price increase of this magnitude that would have to be passed on to our customers.”

Danielson said the rate increase his station is looking for is “very modest.”

Their previous carriage agreement expired September 30.

Danielson said they had been in negotiations for several weeks with KEYT giving DirecTV an extension to air its content in hopes of avoiding a blackout.

The satellite provider said, “DIRECTV is committed to defending our customers and will work hard toward a fair agreement to restore these channels as soon as possible.”