Raycom Media's offer to put viewers declined by DirecTV.
After removing all Raycom Media stations from its lineup, DirecTV refused to restore the signal for tonight's NFL game. Raycom opened negotiations, and made an extremely aggressive effort to bring closure to the dispute in the best interests of its viewers. Contrary to what you might hear, DirecTV turned Raycom's offer down.
Rather than allow the stations to be restored pending a temporary resolution, DirecTV chose to keep the stations dark and offer its customers free trials to their premium sports offerings. This comes as no surprise since DirecTV is competing with DISH Network to secure the rights to NFL Sunday Ticket. This negotiation is complicated further by AT&T's pending offer to purchase DirecTV for $49 billion. According to Sports Business Journal, if DirecTV cannot close a deal with the NFL, AT&T has the right to back out of their agreement to purchase DirecTV.
For Raycom, the economic equation is much less complicated. Over the last four years, the fees it pays the major networks to broadcast that content locally has, on average, doubled each year. The fee increase Raycom is asking for would cover DirecTV's fair share of these price increases.
Raycom Media is still trying to negotiate an agreement that would restore its local channels to the DirecTV lineup. It's unfortunate that DirecTV refused our offer. But, we remain hopeful that DirecTV will put their subscribers first and do the right thing, so viewers will see NCAA and NFL games this weekend.
A message for DirecTV subscribers:
At WIS-TV, nothing is more important to us than providing the Midlands with the very best in local news and weather, along with your favorite shows like The Blacklist, the Voice, Sunday Night Football and Saturday Night Live.
In order to serve our viewers, WIS-TV has in place agreements with the cable and satellite companies that bring our station to your home. In fact, WIS-TV has such agreements in place with every TV provider in our area.
Unfortunately, we have been unable to reach an agreement with DirecTV.
We continue diligently to work for a resolution of this matter, but so far have been unable to reach an agreement with DirecTV for the continued carriage of WIS-TV. This is particularly disappointing because all the other TV providers in our area have agreements with us and those agreements are fundamentally similar to the one we have been negotiating with DirecTV.
As a result, DirecTV customers no longer can view WIS-TV on the DirecTV system.
We Live Here
Over the years we value that you have come to rely on WIS-TV. We value your loyalty, and we regret that our service has been interrupted for some of our viewers. There is a lot of noise and half-truths in the media about the situation with DirecTV. Please bear with us while we give you more background on what's really happening.
As a local broadcaster, we have a longstanding special relationship with the Midlands that we have been serving for more than 60 years. We have teams of people dedicated to providing local news, weather, sports and entertainment 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. You know a lot of those people. While DirecTV, located in Los Angeles, may not think too much about dropping WIS-TV from their service, it's a big deal to us- we live here.
The Economics of WIS-TV
Our economics are simple. We invest heavily in the content that makes WIS-TV great. That includes local programming, like hours and hours of local news and weather and top tier national programming from our network, which costs us much more today than it did three years ago. We offer all of this programming at no cost to you in its entirety, 24/7/365 over the air and on our digital platforms.
For those of you looking for your favorite shows or NFL football, you can see some of them by clicking here: http://www.wistv.com/category/287600/nbcprogramming?clienttype=generic&mobilecgbypass It's certainly not the same as sitting on your couch watching on your TV, but it's an alternative until DirecTV places our signal back into its lineup.
In addition to offering our programming over the air, online and on mobile devices, we also provide it to pay TV providers for a small fee per month. This dispute is about what that fee is for DirecTV. We offer some of the best sports and entertainment programming on TV, like the Blacklist, The Voice, Days of Our Lives, America's Got Talent, NFL football, and 6 hours/day of top quality Midlands news and weather coverage. All of that comes at a cost, and those costs increase over time. In fact the cost of our network programming has more than doubled every year on average for the last three years.
We are asking DirecTV to cover their fair share of those increases, like any business would, since our last deal with them is three years old. But you deserve to know that what we are asking for is a fraction of what DirecTV pays some cable networks that are not nearly as popular in the Midlands. In an average hour, 20% of the Columbia area viewing audience watches WIS-TV. DirectTV pays other content providers that have a much smaller audience 4x more than what we are asking for. Said another way, DirecTV pays certain cable networks four times what we are asking for, while those same cable networks have a fraction of our audience! DirectTV doesn't understand why WIS is so important to the Midlands. Why else wouldn't they be willing to pay a fair price?
We Need Your Help
We hate the fact that DirecTV took WIS-TV off their air. Serving The Midlands is why we get up every morning. If you hate it too, and want to get it back, let DirecTV know that you are not happy. DirecTV is based in Los Angeles, they won't know who you are unless you call and ask them to bring back WIS-TV. Here is how you can reach them:
• By phone: 1-800-531-5000
• By email: Click Here
• By Facebook: Click Here
• By Twitter: @DIRECTVService
If they don't get the message, there are other pay TV providers that serve the Midlands, like AT&T Uverse at 1-800-288-2020, DISH Network 1-888-656-2461 and Time Warner Cable 1-877-472-5243. You can also get WIS-TV for free anytime with an antenna. While it's a major inconvenience to switch pay TV providers, you have the right to fire people that aren't providing the service you want and pay for. Raycom Media wants this to stop too. If you want more information to understand the truth, just call us here at the station the number is 803-758-1150. If nobody answers, please message and we will call you back. We are happy to talk with you. With your help, we can get WIS-TV back on DirecTV very soon. Thank you.
Q: Why is WIS-TV no longer be available on DirecTV?
A: In order for WIS-TV to be carried to your home by TV providers like DirecTV, we need to reach agreements that set the terms for them to carry our signal. WIS-TV has such agreements in place with all the TV providers in the market, including DirecTV. However, we have been unable to reach an agreement with DirecTV.
Q: What can I do if I have lost access to WIS-TV on DirecTV?
A: The good news is that you have choices. First, you can tell DirecTV to put WIS-TV back on the dial. If enough customers speak up, DirecTV may listen. You can reach your local DirecTV service rep at 1-800-531-5000. Second, you can consider a different TV provider such as DISH Network or AT&T Uverse that both carry WIS-TV. Finally, you can always get WIS-TV for free over the air via an antenna.
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