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Rate Dispute Leads DirecTV to Drop KEYT From Lineup

DirecTV dropped KEYT Television from its satellite-television lineup Wednesday after the two sides failed to reach agreement on a new contract.

The news comes after last week’s announcement that the parent company of KEYT Television had reached an impasse in negotiations with the satellite-television provider — a stand-off that would also affect other television stations owned by the News-Press & Gazette Company.

DirecTV terminated carriage at 10 a.m. Wednesday, according to KEYT.

The ABC Central Coast affiliate announced the contract termination Wednesday, citing a rate disagreement between DirecTV and the family owned News-Press & Gazette Company, which purchased KEYT last year.

KEYT General Manager Mark Danielson said he was disappointed that “DirecTV would deprive its subscribers of KEYT’s highly rated national and local programming.”

He emphasized that DirecTV’s decision only affects the satellite provider’s subscribers.

KEYT subscribers can still 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.

Danielson said the two companies had been in negotiations for several weeks, with KEYT even granting an extension to DirecTV in an effort to accommodate the provider and to avoid a disruption to its satellite subscribers.

The previous contract expired Sept. 30.

“The core dispute between DirecTV and the station involves the price DirecTV is willing to pay the station for the right to re-sell the station’s signal, and DirecTV’s demand for the right to place the station’s signal on the Internet without paying the station a fair price,” Danielson said.

He called the station’s rate proposal “very modest” and consistent with today’s market prices.

DirecTV could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Danielson said he was hopeful the disagreement could be resolved, but encouraged satellite subscribers to look at other available options to view KEYT programming.

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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