You may have noticed over the past couple of weeks that we've been running crawls at the bottom of the screen regarding negotiations between Sinclair Broadcast Group which owns CBS 21 and DirecTV.
The deadline for those negotiations was midnight Thursday night.
We're pleased to tell you that Sinclair and DirecTV have reached an agreement that will allow DirecTV to continue broadcasting our signal.
We thank our viewers for their patience and support during negotiations.
Sinclair Broadcast Group is glad to announce that the deal with DirecTV is completed and there will be no issues with losing our station.
We will provide a full announcement as soon as one is provided.
In just a few hours, CBS 21 may no longer be available to DirecTV subscribers.
You may have seen the crawls at the bottom of the screen that our parent company and DirecTV are negotiating, to continue giving DirecTV the right to broadcast our signal.
The deadline is midnight tonight.
It comes down to determining how much is television's most popular programming 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.
Barry Faber, Sinclair Broadcast Group's General Counsel
"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 Barry Faber, Sinclair Broadcast Group's General Counsel.
It's the same issue Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns this station, is currently having with DirecTV.
On average $.33 of every cable or satellite bill goes to local channels, while less viewed cable networks get up to $6 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, programming that gets increasingly more expensive to produce.
Faber says Sinclair is doing what it can. "We're the prisoner of the rising programming cost. There's very little we can do iother than what we're doing."
If Sinclair and DirecTV can't reach a deal, our signal on DirecTV could go to black on March 1st.
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 cannot be broadcast on DirecTV.
"We apologize for the inconvenience but do want people to know that we don't do this lightly." Faber explained. "We 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."