News Ticker

Small TV group asks FCC for help against DirecTV on retransmission

The Brady group, an operator of TV stations in seven small to medium markets such as Spokane, Wash., and Yuma, Ariz., has asked the Federal Communications Commission for ’emergency” relief, claiming DirecTV is not negotiating in good faith over a new retransmission contract.  TVNewscheck reports Monday that:

Frustrated in its effort to cut a new retransmission consent deal with DirecTV, Brian Brady’s group of small-market TV stations today asked the FCC to intercede — to find that the satellite TV operator is not dealing in good faith as required by law and to force it to divulge retrans pricing information it claims to have.

According to its FCC petition for “emergency” relief, the Brady group has been trying to hammer out a new deal with DirecTV since last fall. While the negotiations drag on, it says, it is permitting DirecTV to continue carrying its signals through a series of extensions to a 2011 contract that expired on Feb. 1.

An “unbridgeable chasm has opened” in the negotiations, the group says.

DirecTV has had its share of bare knuckle retransmission spats with broadcast groups over the years, having recently sparred with the likes of Tribune, ABC, Dispatch Broadcast and Raycom. The satellite TV company is waiting for regulators to approve the sale of the company to AT&T for $48.5 billion.