YUMA, Ariz. - Last Friday, satellite operator DIRECTV made a unilateral decision to remove KYMA and KSWT, owned by Northwest Broadcasting, from its viewers. The choice to take the stations off effective at 5 PM Pacific time, came after Northwest had been negotiating with DIRECTV for 15 months to renew it carriage agreement.
The agreement between Northwest, owners of 18 TV stations in ten markets, expired in February of last year. From that point, Northwest repeatedly stated that they want to reach an agreement without interrupting viewers.
Northwest then granted 25 extensions over the thirteen-month period, and had offered yet another extension last Friday when it offered an unconditional extension for another week to continue negotiating.
DIRECTV chose to ignore that offer and removed Northwest owned stations with no warning to viewers, despite a promise that DIRECTV makes to its customers that the satellite operator will never be the one to take local stations off.
Requests made over the weekend to restore the stations as dangerous weather bore down on multiple Northwest TV markets were refused by DIRECTV, unnecessarily placing lives in danger for people who rely on their local TV stations for news and emergency information.
The standing offer from Northwest to DIRECTV continues-put our stations up and continue to negotiate in good faith to serve the viewers who are now doing without our news, weather, and other important programming.
If you are a DIRECTV customer affected by this outage, you are advised to call DIRECTV to share your views at 1-800-531-5000.
Go to our website to see the unconditioned offer made to DIRECTV