Stalled contract talks have WAND-TV blacked out on DirecTV, U-Verse

Stalled contract talks have WAND-TV blacked out on DirecTV, U-Verse

CHAMPAIGN — Monday was the fourth straight day that DirecTV satellite customers were unable to watch "Days of Our Lives," "The Blacklist," "The Voice" and other NBC programs broadcast on local affiliate WAND-TV.

As a result of stalled contract negotiations, DirecTV pulled the plug on the Decatur television station Friday, and U-Verse, also owned by AT&T, has joined the blackout.

DirecTV viewers tuning in to Channel 17 received a black screen Monday evening. From time to time, a message popped up telling them the station was not available.

WAND reported on its website that concerned viewers have been flooding the station with calls asking how to get the broadcasts to return. It is directing them to watch live newscasts on WANDTV.com.

At issue is the amount of money DirecTV and U-Verse are paying to WAND to carry its programming.

WAND, which is owned by Block Communications, is one of five stations affected by the blackout. Block stations in Louisville, Ky., and Lima, Ohio, have also been blacked out.

In a written statement, WAND President and General Manager Ricky J. Joseph said, "WAND has already reached fair-market agreements with every other cable and satellite partner, so clearly DirecTV and U-Verse seem to be the outliers."

AT&T-owned DirecTV issued its own statement, saying: "We want to prevent our local customers from enduring any extended Block blackout and continue to work toward a new agreement."

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