Nexstar Stations Dropped on DirecTV Over Contract Dispute

AT&T
AT&T's "Nexstar Playbook" page for customers.

Basic broadcast channels like ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and The CW were part of the blackout for the affected consumers as talks broke down Wednesday night.

A new dispute has broken out between DirecTV and Nexstar, with the broadcasting group claiming that more than 120 stations in 97 markets across the United States have been impacted by the outage beginning at midnight July 4. 

Local news and basic broadcast channels like ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and The CW were part of the blackout for the affected consumers as talks broke down between the service provider of DirecTV, U-Verse and DirecTV Now and the broadcast group late Wednesday night. 

On Independence Day, Nexstar spun the outage as a consequence of DirecTV parent AT&T's market position following its $80 billion-plus acquisition of Hollywood giant Time Warner. 

"A little more than a year after putting DirecTV together with Time Warner, AT&T appears intent on using its new market power to prioritize its own content at the expense of consumers, and insisting on unreasonable and extreme terms that are totally inconsistent with the market," Nexstar stated. 

For its part, AT&T, in a section on its website labeled the "Nexstar Playbook," claimed that, "The four major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC) have together lost about half their primetime audience over the past few years. Despite this, Nexstar is demanding the largest increase that AT&T has ever seen from any content provider."

AT&T also added, "We even offered Nexstar more money to keep their stations available. However, Nexstar simply said no and chose to remove them instead."

Both companies signaled that they would like to resolve the blackout shortly, with AT&T stating that similar disputes "are often resolved quickly" while Nexstar said it "remains eager to complete an agreement."