DirecTV and Nexstar announced Monday that they had largely resolved a bitter carriage dispute that had left millions of the satellite carrier’s subscribers unable to access local television giant Nexstar’s large array of channels.
The deal to restore more than 170 Nexstar-owned stations across the country, as well as the cable news network NewsNation, comes one day after the stations’ owner agreed to temporarily restore the signals to DirecTV’s subscribers as the second week of the NFL season kicked off, adding new pressure on the two sides to reach an agreement.
The deal to end the blackout, which began in July and stretched for more than 75 days, comes one week after Disney and Charter also agreed to resolve a dispute that resulted in ABC-owned stations and ESPN being yanked from the cable provider’s lineup.
While most of Nexstar’s stations will be covered under the new multi-year agreement, DirecTV said 27 stations controlled by Nexstar, but owned by another company, will not fall under the umbrella.
Disputes over retransmission fees have become increasingly common in recent years as satellite and cable providers dig in their heels and subscribers balk at paying higher prices for television bundles, with millions choosing to cut the cord in favor of alluring new streaming services.
DirecTV chief executive Bill Morrow alluded to the trend in a note to customers on Monday.
“Unfortunately, over the past decade-plus access to your programming has become a battleground for networks and stations to try to drive up higher rates,” Morrow said. “As our customers, we recognize that while you may be able to access some programming over-the-air or on a streaming service during these periods, that is not the experience you expect.”