Area DirecTV customers were surprised to find the Rochester NBC affiliate, KTTC, dark this morning, due to a contract issue.
Customers trying to tune into KTTC were met with this message: "The owner of this channel has removed it from our DirecTV lineup, despite our repeated requests to keep it available to you."
KTTC posted a news article this morning that said DirecTV had removed their station "as the result of the expiration of an extension which was in place while we were negotiating a new carriage agreement with them."
No one was available at DirecTV or KTTC to discuss this issue this morning.
The Rochester station made this statement in their news article:
"KTTC and its parent company, Quincy Newspapers Inc., are in contact with DirecTV and are working hard to resolve the matter so DirecTV will return KTTC to their system. We realize this is a significant inconvenience for our viewers."
KTTC is in not the only regional station owned by Illinois-based Quincy Newspapers to disappear from DirecTV last night. Also pulled do to the dispute were WKOW-TV, an ABC affiliate in in Madison, Wis., and KWWL-TV, an NBC affiliate in Waterloo, Iowa.
DirecTV has a general statement about such disputes on its website:
"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."