Posts tagged: Northwest Broadcasting Inc.
So what really kept the Spokane Fox Affiliate off DirecTV for about nine weeks?
One story running today in the SR said it came down to a contractual dispute over money.
Jon Rand, an executive with Northwest Broadcasting, parent firm of KAYU-Fox 28, said that the real reason wasn't the payment plan — AKA the carriage fee, which is paid to the station based on some specific amount per subscriber in the market.
The real issue was the aggressive effort, he said, by DirecTV to establish a “most favored nation” clause in their contract. We'll get to that in a minute. Here's the official statement by KAYU:
It is with great excitement that FOX 28 announces they have reached an agreement with DIRECTV!
As of 5 p.m. Oct. 26, FOX 28 returned to the DIRECTV line-up. DIRECTV viewers are now able to watch their favorite FOX 28 programming including Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, the X Factor and the World Series.
“We are thrilled to be able to return FOX 28 programming to the DIRECTV schedule and are very grateful to our viewers for their patience and loyalty,” said General Manager of FOX 28, Doug Holroyd. “We also want to remind all of our viewers that FOX 28 is a broadcast television station and a beautiful HD signal can be seen over-the-air for free.”
Back when this battle started, Northwest Broadcasting's Rand summarized the key issue this way:
“DirecTV’s allegation of gigantic price increases does not hold water in this case, since price was not the core issue that shot the agreement with Northwest down.”
Here's the short version of what held things up, at least as reported by Northwest Broadcasting:
DirecTV wanted a “most favored nation” clause that guaranteed it would get a rate as good or better as any KAYU signed with other providers.
Then DirecTV also wanted this to be retroactive, back to January 2011.
Northwest Broadcasting balked at that request. And even now no one will say if they backed down, to help get the World Series broadcasts back on DirecTV.
Asked to comment on the settlement or explain how the sides resolved the issues, a DirecTV spokesman declined to give a reason.
Meanwhile, Rand suggested, in an email, that it was DirecTV who finally changed its stance: “The World Series seemed to motivate DirecTV this week.”
Seahawks fans who rely on DirecTV to see games are getting a break this Sunday.
You'd think that the ongoing signal blackout imposed on KAYU-28's local feed to DirecTV subscribers would mean they'd miss this Sunday's game vs. Arizona.
The blackout has continued since Aug. 13 between KAYU's parent firm and DirecTV, over fees and a few other matters. There's no certainty it will end before Sunday. Neither party seems willing to drop its demands.
However, DirecTV has a free NFL Sunday Ticket preview going on this weekend. That means even though one can't see the KAYU programs over the weekend, there's still that free feed for the weekend.
The DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket package is much like other paid-system plans: you can get every game, every Sunday, throughout the season, as a premium offering.
And a DirecTV spokesman notes that even if the local Fox affiliate is blacking out the channel the game normally is on, that has no impact on the NFL Sunday Ticket feed.
We ran through the KAYU-DirecTV blackout drill back in late 2010 and we pretty much got tired of it within a week.
Today's SR story is another summer rerun, a rehashing of many of the same issues that kept the sides from agreeing back 20 months ago.
Basically: national satellite provider DirecTV is complaining that Northwest Broadcasting (the parent of KAYU and some other Washington stations) is bullying it into an excessive fee for carrying its signal and programs.
NW Broadcasting is saying DirecTV has failed to come to the table in good faith, saying the two sides agreed on a carrying fee but then California-based DirecTV added other provisions that scotched the deal.
Both sides say they want to settle it, and help customers regain access to the KAYU Fox Network programs.
Back on 2011 when this last occurred, we went out and gathered up numbers from MediaBiz to see how the three main non-broadcast providers were doing in Spokane's DMA (dominant market area), in number of subscribers. Here was the number that was tallied back in 2010:
Dish: 102,000; Comcast: 100,000; DirecTV: 69,000.
We doubt that the general proportion of subscribers has changed much since then.
Fans of the Simpsons…. you may be out of luck again, if you get Fox Network programs from DIRECTV. A market DIRECTV blackout that began Jan. 1 continues, with no word on a possible solution.
A representative from one of the parties said, in an e-mail sent Friday afternoon, that the negotiations may continue over the weekend.
Fox viewers in the Spokane TV market bummed by the blackout from the dispute with DIRECTV should take some small comfort; they're not the only ones feeling the loss.
Three separate blackouts have marked the new yearr, according to the American Television Alliance, a Washington, D.C., association advocating for TV audiences.
The two others, outside the Spokane-Northwest Broadcasting-Fox snafu are a blackout by KOMU, an NBC affiliate in Columbia, Mo., and Frontier Radio Management, which runs Fox and ABC affiliates in central Georgia.
The Missouri contretemps also involves DIRECTV; the Georgia dispute involves Dish Network.
The Spokane market dispute really involves five separate markets: Spokane, Tri-Cities, Yakima, Medford and Binghamton, N.Y. Earlier this week Northwest Broadcasting COO Jon Rand said the contact dispute may center on the money DIRECTV will pay for carrying the signals of those stations, but it was just one of four issues at the table. He declined to say what the other three issues are.
NEW: As of Friday Jan. 7, Rand said the dispute now remains over just three issues.
He also said Northwest Broadcasting is seeking a traditional payment system; that would involve different rates-per-household across the five separate markets. Again, since the matter is in negotiation Rand said he wouldn't offer specifics.
The other side, DIRECTV, claims that Northwest Broadcasting is bargaining in bad faith and trying to use the dispute to extort a “600 percent” price increase. A DIRECTV press release said “Northwest Broadcasting … has decided they would rather deprive our customers of their local channels than make even an honest and good faith attempt to reach a fair deal in contract negotiations.”