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DirecTV Customers Could Lose ABC Newschannel 20
DirecTV subscribers could soon lose WICS. Our parent company, Sinclair Broadcast Group, and DirecTV are debating what's fair when it comes to carrying our programming.
Sinclair and DirecTV are negotiating a new contract to give DirecTV the right to broadcast our signal.
That means at 12:01 a.m. on March 1, our signal on DirecTV could go black.
There are several factors involved, but like most business deals, money is one of the points being debated. DirecTV pays Sinclair to run its programs, and DirecTV in turn charges its customers. The cost of producing those programs continues to get more expensive.
Negotiations like this are becoming more common. DirecTV temporarily took Viacom networks like Comedy Central and Nickelodeon off the air during negotiations. Sinclair will continue to negotiate with DirecTV to reach an agreement before the deadline.
Sinclair has reached hundreds of deals with DirecTV's competitors, including DISH Network, during the past 18 months. But Sinclair is not optimistic with these negotiations.
DirecTV says these are the same unnecessary threats, posing as warnings, that Sinclair has made to frighten customers of other pay TV providers.
In the meantime, remember you can watch our signal free over-the-air. It's also available from DISH network and your local cable company. But you can also go one step further by calling DirecTV.
DirecTV also said it is engaged in "productive discussions" with Sinclair to retain these local stations.
"We hope that people will understand that negotiations are necessary in order for the station to remain healthy, to continue to employ their central Illinois neighbors, many of them who work at Newschannel 20," ABC Newschannel 20 General Manager Tim Mathis said. "And also just to let them know that we appreciate their viewership very much. We're sorry for the inconvenience, and we hope you will exercise alternatives to continue to watch ABC Newschannel 20."