At stake for DirecTV subscribers in the four markets where Northwest Broadcasting owns stations was the Super Bowl – all four of NWB’s holdings are Fox affiliates. DirecTV still believes NWB is asking for too much money – but NWB President/CEO Brian W. Brady went public with his asking price: less than $0.03 subscriber, which he contrasts with DirecTV’s monthly fee of $92 on average.
According to the Yakima Herald-Republic, the two parties will allow NWB stations to be carried in full for four weeks while negotiations continue.
NWB operates in Medford OR, Spokane WA, Tri-Cities/Yakima WA and Binghamton NY.
Brady also took DirecTV to task for charging exhorbitant early termination fees to subscribers who wanted to switch to an MVPD that was continuing to carry NWB’s stations. He said he’s been hearing that consumers are being forced to pay $360 for the privilege of not receiving DirecTV any longer.
He added that what was even more amazing about that fee is the fact that DirecTV recently paid $1M to the State of Washington to settle charges that among other things, the company was charging up to $480 for early termination.
RBR-TVBR observation: Some of the most-watched programming on any given MVPD is that provided by local broadcasters, not to mention the vast majority of the MVPD’s locally-oriented programming. It’s must-have programming – the MVPDs just hate to pay for it. What would be interesting to see is how much each basic cable channel is getting in these same markets. If Congress is going to get serious about this issue, that’s the key information it needs to acquire.