AT&T/DirecTV and Raycom Media have avoided the blackout of 54 network affiliates with a short-term extension of their current retrans deal until Sept. 5.
In a statement to viewers, Raycom said the deal was tied to Hurricane Harvey relief and recovery and the need to keep Raycom channels on the air in Southeast Texas.
“The power of local broadcasters to serve those in need is of critical importance in times like these,” said Raycom President and CEO Pat LaPlatney, in a statement. “That’s why we offered an extension to DirecTV and we’re pleased they understood the importance of that local commitment and accepted.”
Raycom began warning viewers of its channels on DirecTV last week that a blackout of their stations on the satellite TV operator might occur if a renewal to a retransmission deal that expired Thursday wasn’t carved out.
“We know you don’t want to be dragged into our business negotiations or be asked to take sides. When a national cable or satellite company simply refuses to engage in fair, market-based negotiations, we have no choice but to stand our ground. After all, the revenue we generate is invested back into our community: providing local news, weather and coverage, network programming, supporting local events and charities and creating good jobs,” wrote Raycom on KNIN’s website.
The Raycom station then goes onto urge viewers to contact DirecTV about restoring or keeping Raycom affiliates' programming. The company also reminds viewers that they can turn to other pay-TV providers or free over-the-air signals if they want to continue receiving Raycom stations’ local content.