TEGNA Stations Blocked From DirecTV Customers In Latest Retrans Fail


Want to watch CBS programming in the National Capital Region or in Tampa-St. Petersburg? If you’re a DirecTV subscriber, you’re out of luck.

The same can be said for DirecTV subscribers in markets such as Buffalo and Portland, Ore., who want to watch their local NBC affiliates.

Chalk it up to the latest retransmission fee dispute, which at 7pm Eastern on Tuesday silenced all TEGNA-owned stations from the direct broadcast satellite’s local channel lineups.

The stations impacted by the “blackout,” created by the lack of a new retransmission consent agreement between TEGNA and the AT&T-owned DBS provider, include 63 television stations in 51 markets. According to TEGNA, it is the largest owner of top 4 affiliates in the top 25 markets among independent station groups, reaching approximately
39% of all television households nationwide.

As such, the impasse is a significant one, as Nexstar Media Group and Dish tussle over their own respective retrans consent accord.

In a statement appearing on TEGNA TV station websites including those for KGW-8 in Portland, Ore., and flagship WUSA-9 in Washington, D.C., the company says “DirecTV is taking away your access to your favorite CBS programming, including NFL football, SEC college football, The Amazing Race, NCIS, Seal Team and Young Sheldon as well as your local news, weather and sports.”

TEGNA adds that DirecTV “has refused to reach a fair, market-based agreement with us, which is why our station is not currently available” on the service provider, noting that TEGNA “is committed to reaching fair, market-based agreements with all the video service providers in our area. Our track record proves it. Over the past few years, we reached hundreds of multi-year deals with cable and satellite companies all across the country, including Dish, Cox, Comcast, Verizon FiOS and many others. It has been disappointing that DirecTV, so far, has refused to reach an agreement.”

Naturally, AT&T has a different take on the matter.

“[In] the midst of an ongoing pandemic, TEGNA is demanding the largest rate increase we have ever seen, and intentionally blacking out its most loyal viewers,” the DirecTV owner said in a statement. “We challenge TEGNA to return its local stations immediately while we finalize a new agreement and pledge to pay TEGNA retroactively whatever higher rates to which we eventually agree. We share our customers’ frustration, appreciate their patience and intend to do all we can to resolve this matter soon.”

Pro-MVPD lobbying group the American Television Alliance (ATVA) offered similar sentiments, accusing TEGNA of being the unfair party harming DirecTV consumers.

“It is alarming, albeit unsurprising, that TEGNA is profiteering off of the need for local news at a time as critical as during a national pandemic,” said ATVA spokesperson Jessica Kendust. “Following a self-reported revenue of $738 million in 2020’s third quarter, TEGNA’s demand for astronomical retransmission fees on the backs of American consumers is baffling. ATVA is disappointed that TEGNA is ignoring the public interest to weaponize blackouts as a negotiation bargaining chip.”


  1. It is very disappointing that these two organizations cannot reach an agreement which ultimately serves their customers. We are Direct-TV customers and feel we now are not getting what we’re paying for. This agreement affects the consumer who has no control over the situation.

  2. I’m not sure who is at fault here but I do miss getting my NBC station out of Charlotte WCNC. I hope that the parties involved can reach an agreement soon. It sounds fair for Direct TV to reimburse TEGNA for any retroactive payments due to the rate increase after they can agree on what that is. Maybe TEGNA can agree to something like that and we can get our local NBC station again soon.

  3. It seems very reasonable that Tegna resume ABC broadcasting until it and AT&T reach a consensus, payment made retroactively. There is nothing to be lost to them in doing so. The path Tegna insists on following is currently loosing them community respect and any amount of loyalty they may have from viewers. That is the no-win.

  4. I’m not happy with these companies that feel the need to do this crap to their costumers!!! I think we should be credited for this inconvenience!!! We’ve been costumers from the very beginning and we are truly not happy!!! I can’t believe with what is going on in our Country that you feel the need to do this!!!!!!!

  5. I am very disappointed in both companies. I agree that Tegna should continue services wile still in negotiations. If a compromise is not attainable then a fair warning and time frame for cut off should be given. To completely block a program is petty. You can periodically through up your messages to the public announcing the problem and to completely shut down the show. People are being forced to stay home and you take away their entertainment too. Stop it you greedy people !

  6. This is pretty typical. The big companies get in a squabble and we, their customers, are caught in the middle with no service while they try to find a way to extort more money out of us. We will be leaving Direct TV as soon as the NFL season is over. I can live without the Sunday Ticket. I’ll also be looking at streaming options so I can bypass my local CBS affiliate here in Greensboro, N.C. I won’t support companies that take advantage of me.

  7. In San Diego, KFMB-1 (CBS Channel 8) and KFMB-2 (the CW Channel 9) are blocked. This is ridiculous. TEGNA is the “blocking party,” not AT&T. They should allow retransmission while negotiating a new deal. Since CBS is blocked, I have been watching ABC news and shows. Now that I am becoming accustomed to these new shows and news programs, I may just stop watching the CBS channels altogether. If consumers don’t watch, then they lose their power over pricing and advertising. Serves them right.

  8. I miss my NBC station in Charlotte. NC. Some of my favorite programs are on this station. Why can’t you stay on the air while you are negotiating. I am considering leaving Direct tv and going back to Spectrum. This is ridiculous!!!!

  9. I agree with all the previous comments. It is not fair to place the consumer in the middle of your disagreements. I like our NFL Sunday ticket, but can do without it to continue service with another provider for CBS programming. As for local news, I do not miss Channel 9 in Washington, D.C. and have come to like watching another local channel.

  10. After several weeks these companies remain at an impasse, putting their greed above serving their customers. It is extremely annoying, but not surprising. I too agree with all the previous comments and I will be looking for a new provider. It’s bad enough my bill has increased 100% over the last 2yrs with channels I have no interest in watching. Now, I can’t even view one of the few channels I do watch.

  11. Any other options then Direct Tv ~ this is ridiculous to put us in the middle. You pay over $100 per month just to watch TV…. I remember when TV channels were free ( there were about 10 channels but still free!). We are not in a high speed internet area so streaming TV is not a good option for us.

  12. Putting the consumer without service due to an internal contract price dispute is in fact unlawful and violates consumers rights who paid for services as per service agreement. I would encourage all Direct TV customers to file a class action lawsuit . I’m canceling Direct TV.

  13. Tegna and Directv are being totally unfair to us little guys, the customer. Without Customers where you you be? I was in sales for many years and customer was alway number 1. You picked a terrible time to pull this crap, Christmas holidays and the pandemic which requires us to stay at home. TV is a major source of entertainment at this time. Shame on you GREEDY people!!!
    (Without customers where would you be??)
    I want to know when CBS and local channel 2 will return. Greensboro, NC 27406

  14. Getting sick of paying $100+ a month and having to deal with no CBS in DC…Between Netflix and Prime…I just might ditch the dish. The customer doesn’t care about whose ‘fault’ it is….we care that we are paying for services we are not getting.

  15. Do TEGNA stations which make us watch endless commercials not get paid by those companies based on viewership? These stations are FREE to viewers over the air and they should be glad DirecTV or any other carrier shows them because it increases their viewers. Thus more money for commercials. It should not matter how we get the station if they are a local free over the air station. For example in my area our HOA does not allow rooftop antennas. So I am stuck now and cannot see a local stations on DirecTV. I would be happy if they replace my lost CBS stations with another but no the TEGNA holds the right over my area although I am as close to to other cities with CBS stations. I think the time is coming for a Class Action Suit against these stations and a forfeiting of their rights of exclusive rights to anyone they refuse to carry a free station freely.

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