DIRECTV is no longer offering a full lineup to its customers as it suddenly removed WLIO and WOHL during contract negotiations. The satellite service provider and the television stations started working on a new contract several months ago, but DIRECTV took the aggressive action of pulling programming from both networks without warning on Friday morning.
Last night DIRECTV rejected our offer of an extension to keep carrying WLIO (NBC/FOX) and WOHL (ABC/CBS) on their systems while we continue to negotiate in good faith towards a fair resolution. To be clear, we did not want to have our stations removed, but DIRECTV unnecessarily made the choice to deprive their subscribers of our valuable and top rated programming. Unfortunately, we can not force them to keep carrying WLIO and WOHL during our negotiations, so we were also equally disappointed in their decision. However, we are still resolute and determined to reach a fair agreement to restore our stations to our viewers on their systems. We appreciate your patience during this difficult and frustrating time, but please know that we are doing everything within our resources to reach a fair deal as soon as possible.
Concerned viewers have flooded WLIO with phone calls asking how to get those channels back. In the meantime, viewers who are no longer getting the programming from DIRECTV can watch live newscasts on our website at https://www.hometownstations.com/watch_now/
Direct TV is telling viewers that Block Communications, which owns WLIO and WOHL, is being greedy and asking for too much compensation for carrying the stations in the Lima area. WLIO/WOHL President and General Manager Kevin Creamer says the request for compensation is in line with what other providers pay. “WLIO/WOHL Media has already reached fair market agreements with every other cable and satellite partner, so clearly DirecTV seem to be the outliers.”
“We serve our community with critical news and weather information,” said Kevin Creamer. “It is important that we get back to serving our viewers as quickly as possible and we are working diligently to do that.”
DIRECTV subscribers can call (800) 531-5000 to ask to get WLIO and WOHL returned to the services for which they pay.