Raycom-Run Hawaiian Station Sees DirecTV Disruption


HAIKU, HI — For DirecTV subscribers across the Hawaiian islands seeking to view The Doctors at 7am or the 8am edition of Hawaii News Now Sunrise, there was nothing but darkness this morning.

At 6pm HST Thursday (midnight Eastern, Oct. 20), KFVE-9 in Honolulu — the MyNetwork TV affiliate for the state of Hawaii — was “dropped” from DirecTV’s lineup.

It’s the latest dispute resulting from the failure of a new retransmission fee agreement between a service provider and a broadcast company, and the second ongoing dispute involving a TV station serving Hawaii.

And, as is the case with many other impasses seen in 2017, there’s a war of words already being waged, with KFVE (known locally as “K5”) striking first.

First, KFVE attacked DirecTV for “removing” seven American Spirit TV stations from its lineup on Sept. 21, and for its dispute with Dispatch Broadcast Group — the Columbus, Ohio-based operation run by the Wolfe family since 1929 — that was resolved Oct. 13 after five weeks of negotiations.

Then, KFVE GM John Fink spun the station’s operation in his favor by noting, “We are a single, local television station, attempting to negotiate against a powerful
international company.”

Actually, that’s not exactly the case: While KFVE is in the process of being sold to American Spirit TV from private equity firm MGC Capital Corp., it is fully run by Raycom Media under a shared services agreement. HITV Operating Co. Inc. is the licensee.

Raycom is a major player in Hawaii and owns CBS affiliate KHNL-13 and NBC affiliate KGMB-5.

KFVE, while airing such syndicated fare as The Wendy Williams Show at 9am, also airs a wide variety of local programming.

Negotiations continue, Fink said, noting that DirecTV has been granted four extensions over the past seven weeks “in our quest to get this issue fairly resolved and have not had any response to our requests to negotiate.”

Meanwhile, DISH Network subscribers across the islands are still without Lilly Broadcasting-controlled ABC affiliate KITV-4 in Honolulu some 20 days after the DBS provider was forced to drop all Lilly stations in the absence of a new retransmission fee deal.

KITV had its battles with DirecTV earlier this year.

From April 1-April 13, the station was blacked out on DirecTV systems — as were all other Lilly stations — as talks broke down over a new retransmission fee deal between the broadcaster and the DBS provider.

— RBR+TVBR correspondent Amber Hunt