Staring at a Nov. 30 deadline, Gannett Broadcasting and
subscription TV operator DirecTV are "in intense negotiations," says
Gannett, toward a retransmission deal -- and are beginning to craft their
positioning statements with consumers as well.
Gannett ran a crawl during primetime Nov. 28, warning
viewers that a shutdown may occur at the end of the week for DirecTV
Said Gannett in a statement: "Over the past weeks, we
have been in intense negotiations with DirecTV to reach a fair, market-based
deal. Gannett has never had service disruption with a major carrier. However,
with the Nov. 30 deadline approaching, we have a responsibility to inform our
viewers of the possibility of a signal disruption, which is why we have begun
running crawls and PSAs on our stations. We will continue to work with DirecTV
right up to the deadline."
DirecTV issued its own statement: "We remain in
productive discussions with Gannett Broadcasting and have no intention of
removing any of their local stations from DirecTV customers' line-ups after
Nov. 30, since only Gannett can do that. DirecTV customers should rest assured
that, even though Gannett has removed its stations from other distributors'
customers before, those interruptions were resolved within hours and not days.
We would hope Gannett will not resort to any unnecessary blackout, however
brief it might be."
Gannett owns 23 stations. It and Dish Network worked out a
carriage deal at the last minute last month.