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Friday, March 22 , 2019, 1:47 pm | A Few Clouds 60º


DirecTV and KEYT Parent Settle Contract Dispute

Regular KEYT Television programming was set to return to DirecTV subscribers Friday after the two sides reached a new contract agreement.

The news came more than two weeks after a rate disagreement with KEYT’s parent company prompted the satellite-television provider to drop the ABC Central Coast affiliate from its lineup.

Details of the new airwave agreement between the family-owned News-Press & Gazette Company and DirecTV were not available Friday.

KEYT General Manager Mark Danielson announced the good news via a brief message to viewers and supporters who have been caught in the middle of the standoff.

“I am pleased to announce that KEYT NewsChannel 3 has reached an agreement with DirecTV for carriage of our signal,” Danielson said in a statement. “KEYT NewsChannel 3 will be returned to the DIRECTV service today.

“I thank our viewers for their patience and support.”

The deal was welcomed Friday by subscribers who have been without the station’s signal since Oct. 9.

DirecTV’s decision disrupted service for its satellite subscribers, but viewers were still able to view the station through other avenues.

KEYT subscribers were able to watch the station for free over the air with an antenna, on the DISH Network, or from an area cable system, including Comcast, Charter, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable.

KEYT cited a rate disagreement as the reason for the tiff, which caused negotiations to reach an impasse late last month.

The standoff affected 13 local television stations owned by News-Press & Gazette Company, which purchased KEYT last year.

A DirecTV spokesman on Friday referred to the temporary station suspension as "unnecessary" and said the company could not provide specifics of the new confidential agreement.

"While we are pleased News-Press Gazette has restored the stations, we are equally as frustrated that they took them away in the first place," he said. "This is just another unfortunate example of broadcasters violating the public trust in an attempt to extract higher fees from our customers.

"Given the fact that there has been a record high of 110 broadcaster blackouts in only the first 10 months of this year, with more likely to come by year’s end, we continue to ask Congress to intervene and fix this badly broken system that has enabled some stations to use viewers‘ loyalty against them rather than reward them for it.” 

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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