DirecTV and major station group Tegna have struck a carriage deal, ending a programming outage that began on November 30 and affected nearly 5 million customers across the United States.
The signals of the 64 Tegna-owned stations in 51 Nielsen-assigned markets will return to the DirecTV, DirecTV Stream and U-verse cable satellite systems throughout the day Saturday. The start of the NFL playoffs this weekend likely helped motivate the parties to reach an agreement, with broadcast potential likely to pick up in the wake of a particularly strong ratings season for the league.
In a brief joint statement, the companies said they “deeply appreciate the patience of subscribers and viewers.” “We will continue to work with station owners and networks to align the price customers pay with the value they receive,” DirecTV added.
DirecTV was spun off by AT&T in 2021 into a privately owned entity that is 30% owned by private equity firm TPG. DirecTV's traditional satellite business, along with its DirecTV Stream and U-Verse cable service, has nearly 12 million subscribers in the United States, according to recent analyst estimates.
The Tegna battle affected about 40% of that base, sources previously told Deadline, with 70% of the affected stations affiliated with CBS or NBC. Tegna has 66 stations in 52 markets, including top DMAs such as Dallas, Phoenix and Denver.
Tegna last spring ended a planned takeover by private equity firm Standard General after regulators raised concerns about the deal, which was valued at $8.6 billion including debt. Tegna was founded in 2015 after its broadcast operations were separated from Gannett's print holdings. The name of the broadcasting company is a partial anagram of Janet.
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