Dispute over local channel continues in DIRECTV blackout

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the_directv_logoAT&T* said it is calling on KNPN to end a local station blackout so fans can see Sunday’s NFC Championship Game.

Since January 12, the FOX KNPN station has been unavailable to DIRECTV customers in the St. Joseph area as News-Press & Gazette and AT&T try to come to terms on a re-transmission consent agreement.

Chris Lester, Senior Public Relations Manager with AT&T said a letter was delivered to KNPN-FOX and KNPG-NBC’s general manager Eric Bradley Thursday afternoon.

“We rarely do public messaging in negotiations such as these.  But we feel we must respond in this particular case,” Lester said.

AT&T provided the St. Joseph Post with a copy of the letter from Robert Thun, AT&T Senior Vice President, Content & Programming.  Thun said he is asking that on Sunday, KNPN and its parent company, News-Press & Gazette, return KNPN to all DIRECTV customers living in the St. Joseph region for, at minimum, the duration of this game so customers can watch the Atlanta Falcons play the Green Bay Packers in NFL Playoffs.

Letter provided to St. Joseph Post (Click to enlarge)

Letter provided to St. Joseph Post (Click to enlarge)

“We agree to compensate News-Press & Gazette for KNPN’s entire day’s schedule rather than just the three hours for a typical game, and also apply any higher retransmission consent rate to which we eventually agree,” Thun said. CLICK HERE to read Thursday’s press release on the blackout from AT&T.

We emailed Eric Bradley to see if NPG has a response to AT&T’s request or comments and are waiting to hear back.  An automated response said he will be out of the office until Monday.

According to NPG’s website, the company’s negotiators are willing to continue to negotiate to end the current service disruption.

“DIRECTV’s delay tactics are preventing you from getting your station back on their system. They appear not to care that you are missing your favorite news, weather, and sports personalities, your favorite programming, and the NFL playoff games,” CLICK HERE to read the full statement from NPG.