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Scott D. Pierce
Scott D. Pierce writes about television for the Salt Lake Tribune. Vice president of the Television Critics Associationn, he's covered TV in Utah since 1990.

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Dispute could knock KUTV, KMYU off DirecTV

Here we go again. Yet another dispute between media companies may mean that some local viewers will lose access to a couple of local TV stations.

This time, it’s Sinclair Broadcasting — the parent company of KUTV and KMYU — and DirecTV that are at odds. Their agreement runs out on March 1, meaning Utah DirecTV subscribers could lose access to the CBS and MyNetworkTV affiliates.

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What it boils down to is, of course, money. Cable and satellite companies have to pay for local broadcast signals; Sinclair wants DirecTV to pay more to rebroadcast its stations than DirecTV thinks those stations are worth.

On Monday night, Sinclair took the dispute public, running scary, distracting crawls across the screen that urged DirecTV subscribers to take the satellite TV company:

"Attention DirecTV Customers. Beginning on March 1, 2013 we no longer expect this station to be carried by DirecTV. This blackout of our programming will only affect DirecTV subscribers. Dish Network and Cable subscribers will not be impacted. Only DirecTV subscribers are expected to lose access to this station on March 1st. We apologize for any inconvenience and suggest DirecTV subscribers call DirecTV directly at 1-800-DIRECTV (347- 3288) or make alternative arrangements to continue to watch our great programming. Thank you."

The companies continue to negotiate, although Sinclair issued a statement that it’s "impossible" to know when they might meet agreement and adding that "it is certainly possible that DirecTV will never carry the Sinclair stations in the future."



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