Northwest Broadcasting, DirecTV Far, Far Apart
No indication that stations go back on air any time soon for DirecTV subscribers
By Michael Malone -- Broadcasting & Cable, 1/4/2011 4:29:44 PM
A quick resolution regarding retransmission consent payments between Northwest Broadcasting and DirecTV looks less and less likely. The satellite-TV provider and the station group, whose KAYU Spokane, WICZ-WBPN Binghamton (N.Y.) , KMVU Medford (Ore.) and KFFX Yakima went dark for DirecTV subscribers after the New Year's Eve ball dropped, aren't even speaking at this point.
"There are no negotiations," says Northwest Broadcasting President Brian Brady Tuesday. "They've totally broken down."
DirecTV says Northwest is being unreasonable in its demands. "What they are asking for right now is astronomically higher than what we currently pay any other station group for local channels, regardless of their size," the company said in a statement. "Profits or not, accepting a 600% increase would cause a customer's bill to become ridiculously high and we have to take a stand. Thus far, we have not received a counter offer from them."
Brady says he's prepared to negotiate. He's fielded over a hundred phone calls from viewers at this point, winning some over with his perspective on the retrans stalemate. He's also encouraging them to consider other subscription-TV options, such as Comcast and Dish Network.
"I explain to people that we're very apologetic about being off the air, but we can't afford to subsidize DirecTV's profit margins," Brady says.
Brady is the chairman of the Fox affiliates board. Northwest Broadcasting is based in Okemos, Michigan.
DirecTV also suggests it's willing to resume negotiations. "If Northwest really cares about their viewers, they should restore the channels so we can keep talks at the negotiating table where they belong," read its statement. "It's the only right thing to do and only Northwest can make that happen."
Viewers, meanwhile, are telling the dueling parties to make the heck up, and fast.
"How absolutely BRUTISH to make your loyal viewers pay while you cannot reach contract negotiations!" wrote Yakima resident MaryAnne LaRoque on broadcastingcable.com. "Fox 11 is the only way I can watch my Seahawks as I live in Yakima!!!! How horrible to not let your viewers watch their programs!"
No! According to msnbc.com, the four-month negotiantion to air Fox 11 through DirecTV expires March 3, 2011. Now the people with dvrs won't be able to record American Idol. This really puts a damper on my day.
But I have to admit that it really is ridiculous that whoever is demanding money is demanding so much. I mean, sure, Fox has some popular shows; but really, this is low.
directv customer - 3/2/2011 12:34:32 AM EST
Brian Brady is the chairman of the Fox affiliates board and Northwest Broadcasting is based in Okemos, Michigan. "The board" needs to hold new elections immediately and fire Brian Brady now! Mr. Brady only just today allowed fox to be turned back on after 33 days of being off the air, only to remain on for 4 more weeks. The imported west coast FOX picture was much clearer in high definition and Mr. Brady's fuzzy picture is only broadcast in standard definition. Who needs or wants Mr. Brady's poor signal anyway? DirecTv should give Mr. Brady his walking papers permanently and turn the FOX HD imported west coast feed back on forever.
Jeffrey Lackey - 2/3/2011 3:08:04 AM EST
I am near Binghamton and was very excited when we got the "locals" thru Direct TV. Didn't last for long, first CBS had an issue, now FOX. I am just going to drop them all and go back to the East Coast feeds from NYC and Atlanta. Screw Northwest.
Laura George - 1/19/2011 11:56:04 AM EST
these companys are acting like children fox did this to time warner also two years ago ,and now they are after directv customers with the economy the way it is you would think large corporations would give the people of america a break instead they take as much as they can from you. how much money does a company or one person or stock holders need it all adds up to greed and the mighty buck just a game to see how much they can get out of a person maybe the federal goverment needs to look into problems like this voice your opinion to your federal goverment i am this has to stop !!!!!!
tom dyer - 1/16/2011 4:35:03 AM EST
Northwest Broadcasting isn't even in the Northwest! Those vultures are in Michigan! They already wrecked that state and now they want to prey on us.
You are one disgusting company Northwest Broadcasting. You should change your name to Michigan Muckrakers, because that's what you really are.
Lee Willis - 1/15/2011 8:53:28 PM EST
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