The sides came to terms shortly before Sunday’s 1 p.m. ET NFL kickoff time, which was not a surprise given the amount of blowback from viewers if pigskin action such as the Cleveland Browns-Pittsburgh Steelers game (pictured) had been disrupted.
In announcing the restoration of the stations, DirecTV’s chief content officer Dan York took made a final plug for the FCC to act on proposals to overhaul the retrans rule that forces MVPDs to negotiate with local broadcasters for access to their signals. York noted Raycom’s recent run-ins with other providers.
“Broadcast station groups who ransom their content back into their communities at exorbitant fees deserve the scrutiny of the Federal Communications Commission and local Congressional representatives,” York said. “Raycom’s intentional recent black outs of Dish (Network), Cox and now DirecTV customers creates an even greater sense of urgency for lawmakers to review and overhaul this anti-consumer retransmission consent process once and for all.”
Raycom CEO Paul McTear was more subdued, addressing his remarks to viewers: “We appreciate our viewers’ patience. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank them for their loyalty to their local stations throughout this process. We are very pleased to be, once again, serving them on the DirecTV system and will keep them informed as we work to finalize this agreement.”