Nexstar-owned CW affiliates return to DirecTV Stream after Sinclair deal

Nexstar-owned The CW affiliates are returning to virtual MVPD DirecTV Stream in 21 markets after being down since mid-July, following a new affiliate deal inked by Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Sinclair’s multi-year deal with The CW renews affiliations across 35 markets, including 10 where Sinclair provides sales and other services to the station owner. It also adds two new affiliate stations in Seattle and Pittsburgh, which currently air LIV Golf and are expanding carriage to the entire network offering.

Sinclair noted in the announcement that the distribution deal includes rights that enable it to negotiation with vMVPDs for CW-affiliated stations.

As a result, DirecTV Stream will regain The CW programming in select markets starting September 1.  Carriage does not apply to the rest of DirecTV systems. DirecTV has been in the midst of a massive retrans dispute with Nexstar, which saw nearly 160 channels pulled from DirecTV systems, including its vMVPD, in July. The CW programming returning to DirecTV Stream in certain markets has been down since July 12.

Also pulled from DirecTV systems were Nexstar-controlled ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and The CW stations, along with cable news network NewsNation.

At the time DirecTV said Nexstar was seeking terms that would require DirecTV to pay more than double the previous fees for the same content. The satellite TV provider also accused Nexstar of attempts to force The CW – of which it acquired a 75% stake last year – and less popular channels into the pay TV provider’s lineups, raising prices for consumers.

However, on Thursday DirecTV commented positively on having the network restored on its live TV streaming service.

“We’re certainly pleased that Sinclair seems to have seized back the right to provide its viewers, and our customers, the programming they should have always retained in the first place,” a DirecTV spokesman told StreamTV Insider via email.