AT&T removes Hearst owned channels for the second time in four years
Dallas — For the second time in four years, Hearst and DirecTV are engulfed in a fee fight.
That’s resulted in Hearst-owned stations – including many local TV stations – being pulled by AT&T right before the Bachelor season premiere is scheduled to air.
Among the stations unavailable on DirecTV is WJCL from Savannah, which serves the four southernmost Aiken Area counties: Bulloch, Hampton, Jenkins and Screven.
In 2017, the Hearst owned stations were among more than fifty (50) channels that were blacked out by fee fights involving AT&T, DirecTV and/or U-Verse.
“We have made significant investments to deliver top tier programming to our viewers and DirecTV is seeking the right to carry our stations at below market rates, which is neither fair nor reasonable,” said WJCL and other TV stations on its websites.
For their part, both parties agreed to four extensions before the impasse.
“We must have Hearst’s permission to offer any of its stations and have repeatedly asked Hearst to keep them available while we conclude a new business agreement privately,” said DirecTV in a statement. “Hearst has refused and instead continues to demand far higher fees than we have ever agreed to with any other station owner including very recent deals with far larger broadcasters.”