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Tribune, DirecTV End Retrans Stalemate - Broadcasting & Cable

Tribune, DirecTV End Retrans Stalemate

Accord reached after nearly four day blackout for subscribers
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DirecTV and Tribune have reached a retransmission consent deal for the satellite TV provider to continue carrying all of Tribune's stations and WGN America for the next five years.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The 23 Tribune stations went dark for DirecTV subscribers at midnight March 31.

"We are extremely pleased to have reached an agreement with DirecTV and to return our valuable news, entertainment and sports programming to DirecTV subscribers," said Nils Larsen, Tribune Broadcasting president. "I want to thank viewers across all of our markets for their support, understanding and patience during the negotiating process--we truly regret the service interruptions of the last several days."

Despite reaching détente, DirecTV took some parting shots at Tribune.

"We're pleased that Tribune and their creditors now recognize that all DirecTV wanted from day one was to pay fair market rates for their channels," said Derek Chang, executive vice president of content, strategy and development at DirecTV. "It's unfortunate that Tribune was willing to hold our customers hostage in an attempt to extract excessive rates, but in the end we reached a fair deal at market rates similar to what we originally agreed to on March 29. On behalf of our customers, we are very happy to close the deal and put this behind us."

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