WGAL no longer on DirecTV

York Dispatch

DirecTV customers in York County started the new year without local NBC affiliate WGAL-TV, which the satellite television provider dropped after the two sides failed to reach a new carrier agreement.

In this file photo, Donald Trump, left, appears with host Jimmy Fallon during a taping of "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," on Friday, Sept. 11, 2015, in New York. Local DirecTV customers will be missing "The Tonight Show" during a contract dispute with WGAL and its parent company. (Douglas Gorenstein/NBC via AP)

The change caused Yorkers to miss seeing the Detroit Lions play the Green Bay Packers on "NBC Sunday Night Football," and they'll have to go without shows including "The Blacklist," "Chicago Fire" and "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" unless the dispute is resolved.

 A carriage agreement gives a company the right to transmit — or carry — a broadcaster's signal. DirecTV's former agreement with WGAL parent company Hearst Television expired on Dec. 31, 2016, according to a news release from the NBC station.

Kyle Grimes, WGAL president and general manager, said in the release that DirecTV was offering below-market value to carry its station.

"Hearst has a long history of successfully concluding agreements with cable companies and other satellite distributors with no disruption of service to viewers," Grimes said in the release. 

AT&T spokeswoman Brandy Bell-Truskey said DirecTV would like to offer WGAL again and asked for patience. DirecTV and AT&T merged in 2014. 

“We want to get WGAL back into our DirecTV customers’ lineups and share their frustration," Bell-Truskey said in an email statement. "Hearst Television is preventing its local signals from reaching DirecTV customers’ homes in 26 different cities unless Hearst receives a significant increase in fees just to allow those same families to watch shows available for free over-the-air and that NBC typically streams for free at nbc.com or to those using the NBC app. Hearst has suspended its stations briefly from other TV providers’ customers before, so we appreciate our DirecTV customers’ patience as we work to resolve this matter quickly and reasonably.”

Viewers are still able to receive the station from other satellite providers and cable TV companies, or with an antenna, WGAL's release states. To determine the type of antenna needed to receive Hearst stations, viewers can visit www.antennaweb.org.