DirecTV avoids Sinclair blackout, signs short-term contract extension

DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV) and Sinclair Broadcast Group said late Thursday that they signed a short-term extension on their retransmission-consent agreement, which prevented Sinclair from pulling 87 stations in 47 markets from the satellite TV provider.

Sinclair, which had been warning viewers of its ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates that they would lose DirecTV programming, replaced the warning with a message about the contract extension. "DirecTV will continue to carry all of our stations," Sinclair said in the message posted on its station websites.

DirecTV issued a similar statement, nothing that the deal allows it to continue offering Sinclair's stations "without interruption as the companies continue working toward a new agreement."

Sinclair and DirecTV didn't disclose the terms of the short-term extension. When Sinclair fought a similar retrans battle with Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH) last August, the companies agreed to a two-week extension before signing a long-term deal.

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