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KDRV and DirecTV at loggerheads

DirecTV subscribers can no longer watch ABC television due to no contract being agreed upon. Any progress to report?

— Mike P., Medford

We have a progress report, Mike, but sad to say, no progress. KDRV's parent company, Heartland Media/USA Television, remains mired in a dispute with DirecTV over a contract.

The dispute has severed the connection between DirecTV and eight stations owned by Heartland — three in Oregon, three in New York and two in Mississippi — with DirecTV declining to pay the price demanded by Heartland and Heartland maintaining that DirecTV is discriminating against smaller companies. Heartland Media is based in Atlanta, Georgia, and DirecTV is based in El Segundo, California.

Both sides point the finger of blame at the other.

On its website, KDRV says Heartland "significantly lowered its fee requests" in order to continue sending its signal through DirecTV. It says DirecTV, which was acquired by AT&T earlier this year, has acknowledged it is paying more to lower-rated stations in the same markets served by Heartland stations.

"Notably," the website says, "every other cable and satellite company in the country has agreed to similar fees and contract terms as those being sought by Heartland/USA Television."

DirectTV responded by accusing Heartland Media of "prohibiting (the signals) from reaching your home unless they receive a significant increase in fees just to allow you to keep watching shows that remain for free over-the-air." It notes that fee increases end up increasing the cost of DirecTV's services to its customers.

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