Will Gannett's fight with DirecTV see WTSP-Ch. 10 yanked from the satellite TV service today?
Another day, another fight between big media companies with customers caught in the middle.
Every few months, TV consumers are faced with a new conflict which threatens to see key channels dropped from their satellite or cable TV service over fee disputes.
The latest possible outage comes courtesy of Gannett Broadcasting and DirecTV, which are tussling over increased fees Gannett is demanding for carriage of its 23 TV stations across the U.S. -- including Tampa Bay area CBS affiliate WTSP-Ch. 10.
If they don't reach an agreement by midnight tonight, Nov. 30, these channels will vanish from DirecTV. And as they did earlier this year during a fight with DISH Network over similar issues, Gannett has begun broadcasting onscreen text "crawls" and putting up announcements on its websites to let customers know they may soon lose service.
Such announcements have become annoyances for most viewers -- the vast majority of whom don't use satellite TV services. These fights rarely results in prolonged outrages, Gannett is even boasting in its latest messages that the DISH dustup didn't disrupt service. But DISH lost AMC Networks channels for nearly four months this year amid a prolonged legal battle between the owners of both companies.
These sorts of fights have become so common, Gannett's website about its fight with DirecTV reads pretty much like its old website announcements for the DISH conflict. Gannett seems to be getting tough with all the systems carrying its TV channels; will be interesting to see what comes next.