Posts tagged: Robert Mercer
Day 24 of the KAYU DIRECTV blackout, with no sign that the impasse will end soon.
We asked both sides by e-mail if movement was likely today.
We learned neither side seems optimistic. DIRECTV said, simply, they saw nothing new to resolve the long dispute — which centers on how much DIRECTV will pay, per household, for the ability to deliver KAYU's Fox Network Spokane-based programs to viewers in the region.
Jon Rand, COO of Northwest Broadcasting, which runs KAYU TV, said about the same:
“DIRECTV has made no offer in response to our new offer on Friday. In fact, they are still sitting where there were on Jan. 1, while we have made three proposals to them.”
We have no clarity on how much distance the two sides are apart, in price.
What would be helpful is to find what other affiliates are getting from DIRECTV or from Dish Network, for similarly sized markets, comparable to Spokane.
Anyone have access to solid numbers? What is the fee per TV household that DIRECTV pays to affiliates in Boise, or in Tacoma?
What does Comcast pay in those cities? Anyone?
The Seahawks season is over but Spokane and North Idaho TV viewers are still chasing down indoor or outdoor antennas. Area retailers say the surge in antenna-shopping is tied to the three-week TV blackout affecting DIRECTV subscribers.
The blackout, which began Jan. 1, has left many DIRECTV subscribers unable to watch Fox Network shows, carried by Spokane Fox affiliate KAYU TV.
Northwest Broadcasting, the owner of KAYU, is seeking an increase in how much DIRECTV pays it for carrying the Fox broadcasts. DIRECTV has said the request is exorbitant.
The blackout has no effect on over-the-air viewers or those using cable or Dish Network.
“We’re selling about 10 antennas a day,” said Casey Randolf, a sales associate for the NorthTown Mall Radio Shack.
Pat Williams, department lead for the East Sprague Kmart, said the store sold out its dozen indoor antennas by Thursday.
Jason Simonetti, an associate at the Post Falls Radio Shack, said the store sold out all its antennas last Friday, two days ahead of the Seahawks playoff game carried by Spokane TV station KAYU.
Now in the 21st day of a broadcast blackout, the opposing sides of KAYU-TV (Northwest Broadcasting, Inc.) and DIRECTV haven't said a word about how soon they expect a solution.
The battle is largely over the retransmission fee Northwest Broadcasting is seeking from DIRECTV. That fee is based on market estimates and the number of households that are gaining KAYU's broadcasts via DIRECTV. Each broadcaster negotiates those retransmission fees with satellite and cable companies.
The parties aren't talking openly about the proposed rates and counteroffers.
The issue affects thousands of TV viewers in Eastern Washington and North Idaho who use DIRECTV.
DIRECTV has told many of its more-distant viewers that they can watch an alternate satellite feed of Fox programs delivered from an Los Angeles station.
That only applies to residents who are deemed eligible because they can't receive an over-the-air signal from KAYU's Tower Mountain antenna, or one of its regional translators.
Robert Mercer, a DIRECTV spokesman, said the satellite company has already “turned on” the optional alternate feed for those subscribers who are affected by the blackout and who are eligible. He declined to say how many homes that encompasses.
Meanwhile, any DIRECTV customer who lives close enough to be capable of watching KAYU with an antenna has two choices….only one of which is useful. (I guess there is the third choice: quitting DIRECTV and finding a new provider.)
If the customer wants to remain with DIRECTV, he or she can file a waiver request from KAYU to allow DIRECTV to provide the alternate feed from LA. But that's totally futile.
That has no chance of succeeding. Jon Rand, COO of Northwest Broadcasting, said the station's affiliate status with Fox Broadcast Network would be jeopardized by allowing those waivers.
So the only other choice is… connecting one's TV to an antenna and watching Fox broadcasts the old-fashioned way. Good luck….