DirecTV subscribers were no longer receiving Los Angeles station KTLA Channel 5 today because its parent company, Tribune Broadcasting, was unable to strike a deal with the satellite-based signal provider.
Tribune Broadcasting, part of the Chicago-based media company that owns the Los Angeles Times, owns 23 local television stations nationwide. Tribune is currently in bankruptcy.
"This situation is extremely unfortunate," Nils Larsen, president of Tribune Broadcasting, stated late Saturday as DirecTV prepared to stop providing signals for local channels in Los Angeles and 18 other U.S. markets, including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and New Orleans.
"We don't want anyone to lose the valuable programming we provide, but we simply cannot get fair compensation from DirecTV and we cannot allow DirecTV to continue taking advantage of us," he said.
According to Tribune Broadcasting, "DirecTV has never compensated Tribune for the rebroadcast of its television stations and Tribune is asking for an agreement that is similar to those that DirecTV already has in place with hundreds of other broadcasters and program providers."
DirecTV, which uses dish antennas to capture signals bounced off satellites, and cable television companies negotiate contracts with local stations to carry their signals.
KTLA remains free to those who receive TV by conventional antennas in Los Angeles.
DirecTV has about 32 million subscribers in the United States and Latin America.
-- City News Service