Citadel-DirecTV retrans talks in extra innings


Citadel Communications extended retransmission consent for three Midwestern network affiliates for 13 hours as negotiations continued with DirecTV. The threatened cutoff at midnight Wednesday, however, was avoided.

“We are pleased to report that our continuing discussions with DirecTV on the terms and conditions of a new carriage have been productive. So much so, that we have agreed to extend the current agreement through 1pm central time on Thursday, April 1, 2010. We are hopeful that the few remaining, but important, business issues which stand in the way of a new, final agreement can be resolved before this extension period lapses,” said a notice to viewers posted on the websites of the three stations involved.

DirecTV’s local-to-local retrans agreement for Citadel’s WOI-TV (ABC) Des Moines, IA, WHBF-TV (CBS) Quad Cities, IA-IL and KLKN-TV (ABC) Lincoln, NE had been set to expire at midnight, Wednesday, March 31st. Both sides had indicated that they were deadlocked on terms and warned viewers that the signals would be pulled – blaming each other, of course – but there was apparently some movement as the deadline approached.

Now we wait to see if a deal is struck on April Fools’ Day. No joke.