Tribune and DirecTV still feuding

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DirecTV said Saturday it had accepted terms offered by Tribune Co. to keep its television stations -- including KTLA-TV Channel 5 in Los Angeles -- on the satellite broadcaster’s service beyond a Saturday night midnight deadline.

“We accept the rate proposal Tribune set forth on Thursday for the local channels and look forward to completing this agreement,” said Dan Hartman, DirecTV’s senior vice president of programming.

But Tribune begs to differ.

‘Tribune Broadcasting has not reached an agreement or come to terms with DirecTV on any aspect of its contract, which expires at midnight tonight. Any statement by DirecTV to the contrary is inaccurate and misleading,’ said a spokesman for the media company, which is also parent of the Los Angeles Times.

Earlier this week, Tribune threatened to pull its stations off of DirecTV at midnight Saturday if a new agreement could not be reached. The two sides were arguing over fees Tribune wants DirecTV to pay to carry its television stations and WGN America, the Tribune-owned national cable channel.


Soon after DirecTV released its statement, Tribune TV station staffers begin tweeting to viewers to alert them that the channels would go off the air at midnight and to contact DirecTV to complain.

Tribune President and Chief Executive Eddy Hartenstein, publisher of the Los Angeles Times, is a former CEO of DirecTV.

Feuds over programming fees have become commonplace in the media industry. Broadcasters such as Tribune want cable and satellite operators to pay in exchange for carrying channels. Most disputes are resolved before a signal goes off the air; however, sometimes viewers do lose channels while the two sides try to hammer out a pact.


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-- Joe Flint