Forum Ends ND Impasse With DirecTV


ForumFargoDirecTV customers in the North Dakota cities of Fargo and Bismarck can once again enjoy such fine programming as BattleBots and new versions of The $100,000 Pyramid and Match Game.

Forum Communications’ WDAY-6 in Fargo and KBMY-17 in Bismarck, both ABC affiliates, returned to the DirecTV lineup on the night of August 18.

Both stations were blacked out due to an impasse over a signal carriage agreement between the DBS provider and Forum.

The new accord, however, leaves ABC affiliate WDAZ-8 in Grand Forks, ND off of DirecTV. Also off of DirecTV are HD multicast offerings XTRA and Justice TV. MyNetwork TV will also not appear on DirecTV.

Aside from separate commercials and weekday newscasts targeting Grand Forks viewers, WDAZ is nearly identical to WDAY. Master control and operations for WDAZ is at WDAY.

WDAZ is also the ABC affiliate available to most cable television subscribers in metropolitan Winnipeg, Manitoba, to the north of Grand Forks.

Forum offered no explanation as to the omission of WDAZ. However, as WDAZ is in the same DMA as WDAY, DirecTV likely argued that it could only select one of the two ABC affiliates for carriage.

Local Grand Forks residents that have DirecTV have been provided with a limited number of free antennas by WDAZ.

WDAZ will continue to be seen on Dish Network and on local cable television providers.

Forum’s contract with DirecTV was originally set to expire March 31. It was extended to May 30 and then to June 1 as talks continued.