DirecTV wants to offer WGAL during negotiations
DirecTV has asked Hearst Television to allow the company to air WGAL-TV for customers during an ongoing negotiating process, according to a spokeswoman.
NBC affiliate WGAL is no longer available through DirecTV, after the two sides failed to reach a new carrier agreement before the New Year. A carrier 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 Saturday, according to a news release from the NBC station.
On Wednesday morning, Brandy Bell-Truskey, spokeswoman for DirecTV parent AT&T, said the satellite TV provider has asked Hearst Television to allow customers to receive the channel while the two companies continue to negotiate, but Hearst Television has refused.
"If Hearst has a true sense of urgency, they will grant us permission to put WGAL back in our lineup, which is what both our Harrisburg and Lancaster customers want," Bell-Truskey said.
Kevin Grimes, president of Hearst Television, did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday.
However, the company issued a news release Tuesday saying the affiliate is still trying to renew the agreement after reaching an impasse on New Year's Eve.
“We hope DirecTV will share our sense of urgency in getting our programming back to their subscribers in the Susquehanna Valley," Grimes said in the release.
The change caused Yorkers to miss seeing the Detroit Lions play the Green Bay Packers on "NBC Sunday Night Football" on New Year's Day, and they'll have to go without shows such as "The Blacklist," "Chicago Fire" and "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" unless the dispute is resolved.
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.