TEGNA, one of the nation’s largest local broadcast station groups has yet again denied DIRECTV permission to offer its 66 stations in 52 metro regions to DIRECTV, DIRECTV STREAM and U-verse customers. This comes after months of negotiations and TEGNA rejecting an offer from DIRECTV to extend through the rest of the college and NFL football seasons to not disrupt viewers while the two sides finalize a renewal.

TEGNA is demanding double-digit annual rate increases that would make it the most expensive broadcaster nationwide, despite declining viewership and continued cord-cutting. Were DIRECTV to agree, it would obligate customers to pay a premium for TEGNA stations that exceeds hundreds of other DIRECTV agreements covering local stations in nearly 200 metro regions throughout the U.S.

“It’s disappointing, but certainly not surprising, that TEGNA is just the latest to perpetuate what’s become the status quo for American broadcasters by using its territorial exclusivities and blackouts to extort ever-increasing rates for programming that remains free over-the-air,” said Rob Thun, chief content officer of DIRECTV. “We just can’t do this anymore–these price increases are unsustainable for the average consumer. It’s a badly broken model that erodes trust, eliminates choice, and keeps delving deeper into the wallets of our already overtaxed customers.”

TEGNA continues to press for what it describes as “fair market” rates, yet ones that are far above the rates DIRECTV, as a national service provider, is paying to any other broadcaster. At the same time, TEGNA’s two largest content suppliers – CBS and NBC – dilute the value of TEGNA’s marquee live sports and prime-time content by making it available on direct-to-consumer apps like Paramount+ and Peacock. TEGNA also makes its own local news content available for free via its websites and Free Ad-supported Streaming TV (FAST) channels.

In addition to its offer to extend, DIRECTV has separately proposed that TEGNA set the market price for its stations and then allow consumers to decide – very similar to Paramount+ or Peacock – whether to subscribe to and pay for that station. This proposed construct is more favorable to TEGNA than how their stations are sold through Paramount+ and Peacock as their stations would be available for purchase by all DIRECTV, DIRECTV STREAM and U-verse customers instead of only available on top of a base package.

This first-of-its-kind a la carte model would allow broadcasters to fully control the pricing for their stations based on quality and demand, facilitate a direct relationship between the stations and viewers, and most importantly return greater choice, control and value to consumers by allowing them to customize their packages and pricing.

More about DIRECTV’s proposal to fix the decade-old issue of skyrocketing fees tied to retransmission consent can be downloaded here.

While DIRECTV continues negotiations to return TEGNA programming to DIRECTV, DIRECTV STREAM and U-verse, customers can access much of the same news, sports and entertainment through local station and national network websites and apps, alternative streaming services, and free over-the-air.

Ongoing information and additional assistance are available at www.tvpromise.com.