Apr
05

Direct from DirecTV: WGN

April 05, 2012

Looks like Chicago real estate dwellers and DirecTV subscribers will be able to watch the Cubs and Sox seasons unfold on WGN afterall.

The Tribune Company and DirecTV were unable to come to an agreement late Wednesday night, just in time for the Cubs home opener on Thursday afternoon.

The new five-year agreement, which has to do with retransmission fees, put an end to a four-day blackout on 23 Tribune-owned stations in 19 markets, including WGN in Chicago.

“We’re pleased that Tribune and their creditors now recognize that all DirecTV wanted from day one was to pay fair market rates for their channels,” said Derek Chang, executive vice president of content, strategy and development at DirecTV.

“It’s unfortunate that Tribune was willing to hold our customers hostage in an attempt to extract excessive rates, but in the end we reached a fair deal at market rates similar to what we originally agreed to on March 29. On behalf of our customers, we are very happy to close the deal and put this behind us.”

They aren’t the only ones. Bar owners across the city had been scrambling to figure out a way to carry the Cubs home opener so they didn’t lose business. I even heard WGN weatherman Tom Skilling complain that, as a DirecTV subscriber, he wasn’t able to watch his own channel from home.

“We are extremely pleased to have reached an agreement with DirecTV and to return our valuable news, entertainment and sports programming to DirecTV subscribers,” said Nils Larsen, Tribune Broadcasting president.

“On behalf of Tribune Broadcasting, I want to thank viewers across all of our markets for their support, understanding and patience during the negotiating process. We truly regret the service interruptions of the last several days.”

Now, let’s just hope our home team’s seasons are worth seeing.

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