Raycom Stations Warn of Potential DirecTV Blackout

With the current carriage deal set to expire Aug. 31, affiliates have started posting alerts on their websites

With the looming expiration of its DirecTV carriage deal, Raycom Media has started alerting viewers that its stations could go dark on the satellite platform at the end of the month.

Warnings—from general managers’ editorials to explanatory videos—apprising viewers of a potential blackout are being posted on stations' websites. Subscribers are being urged to contact DirecTV—or find alternative ways of watching the station, whether that means subscribing to a different pay-TV platform or watching over-the-air, should Raycom’s stations be dropped.

“Unfortunately, there’s a danger DirecTV system is about to drop us and break that critical link to our viewers,” Mark Bunting, VP and general manager of WSFA Montgomery, Ala., said in an editorial. “We are currently working hard to make sure DirecTV customers continue to have access to WSFA without interruption. There is a chance they will not agree to a fair deal, and decide to drop this station from their system.”

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The carriage agreement, affecting 40 stations, expires Aug. 31, according to Satellite Business News.

DirecTV, however, didn’t reference any problem related to Raycom negotiations on its website dedicated to retransmission disputes. “There are no issues in your local area” it said when asked about specific Raycom markets.

(Photo via Tariqmudallal. Image taken on May 12, 2014 and used per Creative Commons 3.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 16x9 aspect ratio.)