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DIRECTV vs. Sinclair: It's D-Day!
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (February 28, 2013) - DIRECTV has issued an upbeat statement that it will get a last-minute deal today to keep Sinclair's 87 local stations or the companies will sign an extension that would ensure the stations are not removed.

DIRECTV continues to make significant progress each day toward a new long-term programming relationship with Sinclair Broadcast Group. This offers further assurance to our customers that there will be no interruption of their local programming," DIRECTV said on its web site, "We also anticipate that, even in the most extreme case, Sinclair and DIRECTV will agree to a brief extension beyond the initial Feb. 28 deadline to hammer out any final details."

And what does Sinclair say?

The broadcaster's stations this morning are continuing to post warning notices at their web sites saying DIRECTV subscribers may lose their signals on March 1 when the current programming pact expires.

Barry Faber, an executive vice president for Sinclair, told Multichannel News that "there are still significant open points between us. We are still talking and the gap has narrowed. I hope we will be able to reach an agreement by midnight tomorrow (today) but I really don't have a prediction right now."

Sinclair last week began alerting customers at station web sites, on on-screen crawls and on its Facebook page that the current agreement between the two companies expires on March 1. And if a new deal is not reached by then, DIRECTV could be forced to remove the Sinclair stations from the air.

DIRECTV subscribers could lose channels in such markets as Baltimore, Milwaukee, Richmond, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, Austin, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Oklahoma City, Cincinnati, Las Vegas, St. Louis, Des Moines and Minneapolis.

Sinclair owns 24 Fox affiliates, 19 MyTV stations, 12 ABC stations, 16 CW affiliates, 11 CBS stations, 3 NBC stations and two independent stations. To see a complete list, click: Sinclair.

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