Entertainment

UPDATE: WLOX and DIRECTV extend negotiations so ABC and CBS can stay on DIRECTV lineup

WLOX says contract negotiations with DirecTV could result in removal of WLOX from DirecTV lineup, including Saturday’s college footaball games on ABC and CBS.
WLOX says contract negotiations with DirecTV could result in removal of WLOX from DirecTV lineup, including Saturday’s college footaball games on ABC and CBS. AP

After warning DIRECTV subscribers that they could miss WLOX’s CBS and ABC network opening day college football programming, both sides have agreed to extend the deadline.

“Raycom Media has temporarily extended its carriage agreement with DIRECTV, ensuring 4 million subscribers will continue to receive 54 local Raycom Media stations and preventing an interruption in service,” WLOX said in an email statement Thursday afternoon.

Raycom President and CEO Pat LaPlatney said the affiliate’s network coverage of Hurricane Harvey played a role in the contract negotiation extention.

“Our local commitment is all about putting the needs of the communities we serve first,” LaPlatney said in the statement. “As we all witness the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, Raycom Media teams in and around the affected areas are providing vital local news coverage on every screen, and stations across our group are raising funds and awareness for relief efforts that will help the people in Texas and Louisiana recover and rebuild.”

The extension guarantees Raycom Media stations will remain on the DIRECTV lineup through Tuesday,

Sept. 5.

DIRECTV also issued a statement about the extension.

“The two sides have agreed to extend their discussions and all Raycom stations will remain in place while they do,” said Travis Thompson, AT&T senior public relations manager, in an email statement Thursday afternoon.

In recent days, WLOX had broadcast and posted on its website an editorial saying DIRECTV customers were in jeopardy of losing the affiliate’s ABC and CBS programming, including “. . .the big match up Saturday between number one Alabama and number three Florida State.”

The original deadline for the two entities to reach an agreement was by 11:59 p.m. Thursday or WLOX could have been eliminated from DIRECTV’s lineup.

Such contract negotiations are familiar to cable and satellite viewers throughout the nation as affiliates and providers negotiate terms.

Many are resolved by the deadline or the deadline is extended until an agreement is reached, as was the case with a similar negotiation late last year between Cable One and New Orleans NBC affiliate WDSU, which carries New Orleans Saints games.

Scott Hawkins: 228-896-2424, @ScottHawkins4

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