Football pushes Raycom, DirecTV to reach preliminary deal

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More than 50 television stations operated by Raycom reappeared on the DirecTV satellite platform just in time for the start of football season.

On Sunday, both companies announced a “deal in principal” that, for the time being, restored DirecTV customers’ access to nearly five dozen local television stations in more than 30 markets.

Raycom and DirecTV had been locked in a six-day battle over how much the satellite company would pay in order to retransmit local stations to customers. The spat affected major stations in Tucson, Columbus, Honolulu and elsewhere.

In announcing the deal, DirecTV took a parting shot at Raycom and other broadcasters that engage in retransmission disputes.

“We thank all of our affected customers for their patience over these past several days and regret that Raycom and too many other broadcast stations are willing to resort to these contrived blackouts to antagonize the public rather than serve it,” DirecTV executive Dan York said in a statement. “Raycom’s intentional recent black outs of Dish, 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 said in a statement it had reached a preliminary agreement with DirecTV and would work over the next few days to finalize it.

“We apologize for the inconvenience and thank them for their loyalty to their local stations throughout this process,” Raycom executive Paul McTear said. “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.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed on Sunday.