Nexstar, DirecTV reach distribution deal restoring over 175 stations

Nexstar and DirecTV reached a new multi-year distribution deal that covers 176 local stations, following a months-long blackout on the pay TV providers systems, the companies announced Monday.  

It also includes Nexstar’s cable news network NewsNation, which was restored a day earlier on September 17 under an earlier temporary agreement.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nexstar-owned stations, including local news, live sports and entertainment, had been blacked out on DirecTV, including DirecTV, U-Verse and DirecTV Stream, since July. At the time Nexstar said DirecTV had rejected an offer to extend an existing distribution agreement until October 31.

DirecTV, meanwhile, claimed it was another instance of the broadcaster forcing programming outages as it sought to unnecessarily raise prices.

Earlier this month Nexstar-owned The CW affiliates returned to virtual MVPD DirecTV Steam in 21 markets after the broadcaster inked a separate deal with Sinclair Broadcast Group. Per Leichtman Research Group estimates, as of the end of Q2 DirecTV had around 12.35 million customers across DirecTV, U-Verse and DirecTV Stream systems.

It isn’t the first time DirecTV and Nexstar have had spats, and in June DirecTV filed an informal complaint with the FCC, again accusing the station owner of so-called shame “sidecar” agreements with station owners Mission Broadcasting and White Knight. DirecTV asserts Nexstar effectively and unlawfully controls the entities through shared services and other agreements, and leverages them in retransmission negotiations while skirting federal TV ownership cap rules. Nexstar has maintained that itself had no hand in negotiations with the Mission and White Knight and “does not control any of these television stations.”

Hawaiian Telecom filed its own FCC complaint against Nexstar in July, claiming six channels were blacked out during active negotiations. Nexstar and Hawaiian Telecom later resolved the dispute.