DirecTV rejects agreement with Your Hometown Stations


By Jennifer Peryam - jperyam@limanews.com



LIMA —DirecTV rejected Your Hometown Stations offer Thursday night for an extension to keep carrying WLIO (NBC/FOX) and WOHL (ABC/CBS) on their system while the station can negotiate in good faith toward a fair resolution.

The local stations have been on DirecTV for at least a decade in some form and in the last six years have been on DirecTV with all four stations, according to Kevin Creamer, president and general manager for Your Hometown Stations.

“I have been at this TV station 32 years and never had a satellite or cable service take our signal down,” Creamer said.

DirecTV notified Block Communications Thursday night with the change effective at midnight that night when all four stations were taken off air.

DirecTV wants to get WLIO and WOHL back into the Lima-area lineup, according to Brandy Bell-Truskey, AT&T global media relations.

Bell-Truskey said the station’s owner, Block Communications, has raised fees significantly and has disconnected viewers before.

She said viewers can now watch shows on WLIO and WOHL for free over the air on channels 8, 8.2, 35 and 35.2 and often at nbc.com, fox.com, abc.com and cbs.com or using the NBC, Fox Now, WatchABC and CBS apps.

“We want to prevent our local customers from enduring any extended Block blackout and continue to work toward a new agreement. We appreciate their patience and strive to deliver the content our customers want at a value that also makes sense to them,” Bell-Truskey said.

The area has approximately 5,300 DirecTV subscribers. Your Hometown Stations wants to get its stations restored to the viewers because they value their viewers, Creamer said. He said Your Hometown Stations provide valuable local news, from breaking news to weather issues.

What is currently available for DirecTV subscribers are newscasts, and there are instructions on Your Hometown Stations website how to access that. What is not available with the change are standard programming such as syndicated programming and Prime Time.

The change is usually about re-transmission fees and negotiation factors with some of the other markets, he explained. In addition to Your Hometown Stations being in Lima, they also are located in Louisville and Decatur, Illinois, and DirecTV has a presence in those television markets.

“We have reached fair market agreements with every other cable and satellite provider in all of these markets so we feel like DirecTV is the outlier is this situation,” Creamer said.

Your Hometown Stations will continue to negotiate with DirecTV.

“We want their subscribers to have an opportunity to watch our stations,” Creamer said. “Ultimately we want to reach an agreement with DirecTV and get back up and running with them and we hope it happens quickly.”

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By Jennifer Peryam

jperyam@limanews.com

Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.

Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.

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