A 13-hour extension continued for a few hours more and then Citadel Communications struck a new retransmission consent agreement with DirecTV for three of its four television stations. So, no Citadel stations were ever pulled from DirecTV’s local-to-local service.
“We are pleased to confirm that Citadel Communications Company and DirecTV have finalized a new carriage agreement. The agreement achieves a goal of ours from the outset of these negotiations: terms and carriage conditions that are fair and reasonable to both parties. Importantly, it allows DirecTV subscribers to continue receiving ABC5 without any interruption whatsoever. Thank you for your patience and the support shown us, over the past several weeks,” said Citadel President Ray Cole in a note to viewers posted on the website of WOI-TV (ABC) Des Moines, IA.
Similar notices went up on the websites of WHBF-TV (CBS) Quad Cities, IA-IL and KLKN-TV (ABC) Lincoln, NE. The previous retrans agreement for all three stations had been set to expire at midnight Wednesday, March 31st. Despite comments from both companies that they were unable to come to terms and that the stations were likely to disappear from DirecTV, the negotiations moved closer to resolution as the deadline approached and an extension was announced late Wednesday. Word of the resolution was finally announced Thursday afternoon.
RBR-TVBR observation: Once again, the retransmission consent system worked exactly as it is supposed to. Washington lawmakers should take note.