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DirecTV Sues Nexstar & Others Over Local Channels Dispute


directv sues nexstar

Popular satellite TV Provider DirecTV has filed a lawsuit against 3 television station owners in a Manhattan Federal Court.

Nexstar, White Knight, and Mission Broadcasting are on the receiving end of the lawsuit which claims a violation of antitrust laws.

In a press release from DirecTV, the company alleges a price-fixing conspiracy between the 3 TV broadcast owners.

Today’s lawsuit… charges America’s largest broadcaster Nexstar Media Group with violating federal antitrust law by engaging in an illegal conspiracy with Mission Broadcasting and White Knight Broadcasting to manipulate, raise and fix the prices of so-called retransmission consent fees that DIRECTV must pay to offer ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX local stations

This results in 27 different local stations being blacked out to hundreds of thousands of subscribers across the United States.

You can see a complete list of markets that have been affected by these blackouts in DirecTV’s official press release.

directv blackout

The lawsuit aims to block Nexstar from colluding with White Knight Broadcasting & Mission Broadcasting in price negotiations with DirecTV.

It claims that Nexstar is working with smaller broadcast owners to avoid FCC regulations and any violations of applicable laws.

Nexstar utilizes Mission and White Knight to skirt FCC station ownership caps and other federal laws through collusive retransmission consent negotiations with “sidecar” station groups that it manages

DirecTV also states that both Mission Broadcasting and White Knight Broadcasting have entered some type of an agreement to “relinquish decision-making authority to Nexstar”.

This includes prohibiting Mission and White Knight from engaging with DirecTV for negotiations regarding their broadcast rights to local affiliates.

Ultimately, this results in MVPDs (Multichannel Video Programming Distributors) being forced to pay high fees to retransmit their channels.

This could also result in a complete loss of access to these local channels if an agreement cannot be made.

Nexstar disputes DirecTV’s claim in a statement made to cordcutternews.com:

Nexstar’s shared services agreements with White Knight and Mission Broadcasting are in full compliance with FCC rules, and each station group independently negotiates its own retransmission consent agreements with its cable, satellite, and telco partners.  This lawsuit is without merit and Nexstar looks forward to prevailing in court.

You can read the complete lawsuit from DirecTV using the link below.

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DirecTV vs Nextar, Mission Broadcasting, & White Knight Broadcasting

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