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Zurawik: DirecTV no longer carrying WBAL (Channel 11) in fees dispute

Another game of chicken with subscribers being the losers.

DirecTV dropped Baltimore's WBAL (Channel 11) as of midnight Dec. 31 in a dispute over carriage fees with the channel's corporate parent, Hearst Television, the station said today.

“Hearst has a long history of successfully concluding agreements with cable companies and other satellite distributors with no disruption of service to viewers,” Dan Joerres, WBAL-TV 11 President and General Manager, said in a statement Sunday.

“Unfortunately, the DirecTV negotiating team is seeking the right to carry our stations at below market rates," he continued.

“We regret the inconvenience ... and we will keep you
fully informed of developments.”

Joerres' statement also told viewers that they can watch WBAL over the air or from cable companies that carry the station.

There is nothing new about this game of chicken that both sides continue to play as they negotiate. The only people who suffer are subscribers. I don't care what either side says about who is or isn't being fair about the price of carrying the channel.

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