While the carriage dispute between Nexstar and DirecTV continues, subscribers won’t be left in the dark—for now.
Over the weekend, 176 Nexstar-owned affiliates were restored to DirecTV on a temporary basis. Those affiliates were pulled on July 2.
Per Deadline, a joint statement from the two companies said the networks were restored “while we both work to complete the terms of an agreement.”
“In recognition and appreciation of the continued patience of DirecTV customers and Nexstar viewers, the companies have agreed to temporarily return the signals of the Nexstar-owned stations and national cable news network NewsNation to DirecTV, DirecTV Stream and U-verse while we both work to complete the terms of an agreement,” the companies said in a joint statement in the early hours of Sunday.
Nexstar owns networks in many of the country’s top markets. In addition to owning The CW affiliates in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Dallas, and Houston, among many others, Nexstar owns the CBS affiliates in NFL markets Buffalo, Indianapolis, Green Bay, and Las Vegas, and the Fox affiliates in Kansas City, Cleveland, Denver, and Indianapolis.
The CW, majority owned by Nexstar, has become a player in live sports this year, airing LIV Golf and a variety of ACC football and basketball games. And Nexstar has also been discussed as a potential bidder for ABC.
The networks getting pulled over the summer likely didn’t cause much of an outcry among sports fans. But once the NFL season rolls around and fans in markets all across the country are losing access to games, the need to get a deal done was probably ratcheted up.
Hopefully for viewers in those markets, a deal will get done sooner rather than later and the networks won’t get pulled again.