Keeping You Connected to Your Local Stations

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Raycom Media is denying DIRECTV customers and some of its own most loyal viewers access to its local broadcast stations unless they pay more than double just to receive the same broadcast shows that remain available over the air for free. We will always work to protect our customers and prevent them from enduring any unnecessary interruptions, no matter how brief. We appreciate their patience since it has a direct impact on their bill. Despite Raycom’s unnecessary blackout, NFL and college football fans can see all of the first few week’s action uninterrupted, and the majority of ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC series won’t premiere for several more weeks.


Why have some of my local stations left my channel line-up?

The station’s owner, Raycom Media, is denying DIRECTV permission to offer its several local stations unless we commit our customers to pay more than double just to have the same broadcast shows others can still get for free. We apologize for the inconvenience, no matter how brief, but your patience has a direct impact on your bill.

With college and NFL seasons beginning, am I at risk of
losing any big games?

No. All of the games remain available on free, over-the-air, digital broadcast television. The NFL season begins Thursday with NBC’s primetime telecast of the Green Bay Packers and defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, and NBC Sports streams all of its NFL games online too. Nearly every digital TV set has its own built-in tuner to receive off-air signals, so all you need to do is turn off your DIRECTV receiver and tune your digital TV into the same channel position as your local Raycom station. It’s a small inconvenience, but your patience has a direct impact on your bill since you can help prevent Raycom from intentionally forcing you to miss a big game just to drive up your own bills in the future.

Will I be able to get a clear over-the-air digital signal?

Most customers will typically receive a crisp, over-the-air digital signal. The only major reason you wouldn’t is if Raycom built its transmitters on the other side of a topographical obstruction like a mountain range or other major impediment that could block reception to your home. Otherwise, you should be fine. You can also boost your digital reception with a small and inexpensive digital antenna available at most local electronics stores.

What about my favorite network series coming back this fall?

There are more ways to get network series than ever before even though we’re still weeks away from most premieres. CBS won’t debut any of its fall shows until Sept. 21 and ABC and NBC won’t go any earlier except for “Dancing with the Stars” on Sept. 15 and “The Biggest Loser” on Sept. 11. FOX won’t roll out its entire schedule until November, and begins its new fall season with the reality show “Utopia” (Sept. 7) and “Hell’s Kitchen” (Sept. 10) before ramping up the week of Sept. 16. While all the shows remain available over-the-air, each of these networks makes them available through their own websites (,,, and typically with little to no delay. They’ve also created new mobile apps for smartphones and tablets too. “Watch ABC,” “CBS,” “NBC,” “NBC Sports Live” and FOX Now” are available for free downloads on iTunes and other sources. These same networks make the same shows available on Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Roku, X Box One and iTunes, too.

If Raycom stops me from getting my usual station, can’t DIRECTV just give me another one from a nearby city?

U.S. law prevents that in all but a few circumstances. But because so many stations owners like Raycom continue to intentionally black out or antagonize the same public they’re specifically licensed to serve, Congress is already considering different ways to end these unnecessary blackouts once and for all. As far as we’re concerned, it cannot happen soon enough.


DIRECTV wants to make sure you can always access any local stations serving your community and each of the ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX local affiliates.

When contract disputes arise over station owners’ unnecessary increases in what you should pay for these free over-the-air stations, DIRECTV will never remove them from your lineup. Period. Station owners may try to avoid their responsibilities to you, but make no mistake: the station owners are the only ones who can decide to take away your local stations.

Less is More

Fewer people watch shows on local stations than ever before, but broadcasters continue to demand everyone pay more to get the few shows they do watch. DIRECTV must have their permission to broadcast their programming, so if stations can’t get whatever they want, they deliberately sideline their signal so nobody can see anything. Here are just a few recent examples of stations, licensed to serve the public, who deliberately nixed their communities.

  • Hearst Goes Dark Overnight Hearst blacked out all of its stations to 2 million DISH families living across 29 different cities, but only for 14 hours when most ABC, CBS and NBC fans were already in bed.

  • Meredith Sacks Patriots Meredith stopped Cablevision customers in Hartford, Conn. from seeing its CBS station during the NFL’s Wildcard and Divisional Championship weekends, costing New England fans a chance to see the Patriots.

  • Cox Drops Charter on New Year’s Cox may serve 6 million cable customers, but its sister broadcast stations stopped Charter customers from seeing ABC, CBS and NBC shows in Atlanta, Charlotte, Seattle, Oakland and San Francisco for 14 hours when others were still ringing in the New Year.

  • Fox Lacks EsteemStations hurt their own networks with blackouts like the one last January when Esteem Broadcasting decided to keep NFL fans in California from seeing NFL playoff games featuring the San Francisco 49ers.

  • Doubling Down on Blackouts Small towns get blacked out big when two or more station groups attempt to deny ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX shows at the same time. That’s what happened to DISH families in Chico-Redding, Calif. and some other cities when Bonten Media and Esteem doubled down to end 2013.

  • CBS and Time Warner in Bi-Coastal Bout Time Warner Cable customers in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and other cities lost CBS for more than a month last fall. The battle between CBS and TWC left customers fuming on both sides and got so rancorous Congressional Democrats and Republicans each introduced legislation to try to end future blackouts once and for all.


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