A deal between Gannett Co., which owns local NBC affiliate WGRZ-TV, and DirecTV was reached Saturday morning, averting a service disruption of NBC programming on the satellite TV provider.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, DirecTV spokesman Robert Mercer said by email.
Jim Toellner, WGRZ’s president and general manager, declined to comment beyond a one-sentence statement issued by Gannett that read, “Gannett and DirecTV have reached an agreement regarding DirecTV’s continued retransmission of Gannett stations.”
Both sides had faced a 3 a.m. deadline Saturday for reaching a new agreement or the NBC signal may have gone off air.
WGRZ had posted a statement on its website warning DirecTV subscribers they would lose access to “Sunday Night Football,” “Saturday Night Live” and other popular NBC programs, as well as Channel 2 News and other local offerings, if a new deal wasn’t reached.
Gannett owns 14 NBC affiliates and six CBS affiliates across the country, including in Atlanta, Denver and Washington, D.C.
This was only the latest standoff between a broadcast or cable network and a TV provider. These disputes center on the fees the providers pay for the right to carry a network, and they can leave subscribers feeling caught in the middle.
Early this year, a battle between Time Warner Cable and the MSG Network lasted 48 days and forced Buffalo Sabres fans to miss 15 of the team’s games before a deal was reached on Feb. 17.
And in March 2011, a dispute between Dish Network and LIN Media blacked out WIVB-TV and WNLO-TV to customers for nine days before the parties struck an agreement.