EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSDIRECTV NEGOTIATIONS
from Eyewitness News Online
Agreement Reached Between DirecTV And Our Parent Company
Reported by: Bethany Simmons
Web Producer: Bethany Simmons
Also Contributing: Jennifer Gilbert
Reported: Feb. 27, 2013 1:46 PM EST
Updated: Mar. 1, 2013 2:56 AM EST
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
We are pleased to let you know that our parent company has come to a deal with DirecTV.
The agreement was reached Thursday afternoon. As a result, DirecTV will continue to carry all of our stations including WVAH and WCHS.
We thank you so much for your patience and support during these negotiations.
In just a few hours, WCHS and WVAH might no longer be available to DirecTV subscribers.
You may have seen the crawls at the bottom of the screen on Eyewitness News that our parent company and DirecTV are negotiating to continue giving DirecTV the right to broadcast our signal.
It comes down to determining how much television's most popular programming is worth.
In the broadcast world, it's a struggle between providing the best coverage at the lowest cost.
That struggle happens at all levels.
Cablevision is now suing Viacom, the owner of hit networks like MTV and Comedy Central.
Cablevision claims Viacom forces television providers to carry lesser-watched channels if they want access to Viacom's popular networks.
The cost of all of those channels, popular or not, are passed on to you, the consumer.
“Not only are they paying too much for channels that have low ratings, everybody is forced to pay for programming that they really have no interest in,” said Sinclair Broadcast Group Executive Vice President Barry Faber.
It's the same issue Sinclair broadcast group, which owns this station, is currently having with DirecTV.
On average, 33 cents of every cable or satellite bill goes to local channels, while less-viewed cable networks get up to six dollars of every monthly bill.
Many cable channels are overpaid based on the relative worth of the channel compared to a broadcast station,” Faber said.
That's why Sinclair Broadcast Group is negotiating a new contract with DirecTV which gives them the right to broadcast our signal - a signal that carries some of the most popular programming on TV.
It’s programming that gets increasingly more expensive to produce.
“We're the prisoner of the rising programming cost,” Faber said. “There's very little we can do, other than what we're doing.”
If Sinclair and DirecTV can't reach a deal, our signal on DirecTV could go to black on March 1.
In a statement on its website, Directv says "Despite Sinclair's attempts to alarm everyone, our customers can rest assured no one is going to disrupt their programming. Sinclair has used the same tactics to frighten customers of every other major tv provider without actually taking down its stations."
But the reality is, without an agreement, the local programming on this station can not be broadcast on DirecTV.
“We apologize for the inconvenience but do want people to know that we don't do this lightly,” Faber said. “Hope we can get a deal done, but we're not optimistic about getting a deal done at this point or we wouldn't have started putting out notices and people have alternatives.”
If you'd like to learn more about your alternatives to DirecTV, go to our website www.wchstv.com.
You may have seen the crawls at the bottom of the screen here on ABC, but if you haven't, our parent company and DirecTV are negotiating to give DirecTV the right to continue to broadcast our signal.
Every cable and satellite provider has to pay a fee to retransmit programming.
We take a look at what you pay for in your monthly bill, which includes channels you probably never watch.
Whether it's drama, a sitcom or the latest reality television, broadcast television is still among the most viewed entertainment in the country. All of the top 10 network TV shows still bring in more viewers that the most viewed show on cable.
TV providers like DirecTV, however, still pay over-the-air broadcasters far less than other, less viewed, channels.
"There are kids' channels you're paying a lot of money for," said Barry Faber, general counsel for Sinclair Broadcast Group. "If you don't have children and you don't watch it, you're still paying for it. If you're not interested in FOX or CNN, their ratings are far lower than our broadcast stations that bring local news every day. You're still forced to pay for that."
In 2012, the largest chunk of your monthly TV bill went to ESPN. SNL Kagan is a company that tracks retransmission charges. It shows an average of $9.18 of every monthly cable and satellite bill went to the ESPN networks.
Also topping the list, 3 NET, a group of 3-D channels that cost each subscriber $1.29 a month.
Another top paid channel, TNT, gets a $1.18. But the average local TV broadcaster gets just 33 cents
In some markets, local news is viewed by three and a half times the number of people watching cable, but local broadcasters on average, only get 7 percent of what cable networks receive.
That's why Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns this station, is negotiating a new contract with DirecTV, which gives it the right to broadcast our signal.
If Sinclair and DirecTV cannot reach a deal, our signal on DirecTV could go to black March 1.
In a statement, DirecTV said, "Despite Sinclair's attempts to alarm everyone, our customers can rest assured no one is going to disrupt their programming. Sinclair has used the same tactic to frighten customers of every other major TV provider without actually taking down its stations."
The reality is that without an agreement, however, the local programming on this station cannot be broadcast on DirecTV.
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