(Updated 10/1/12) Dear FOX 26 viewer:

You are due an update on the disagreement that has kept you from receiving your local Fox affiliate since mid-August.

Without fair treatment by DirecTV, we can't afford to provide to DirecTV's customers the quality FOX programming, including the NFL, Pac 12 college football, a fresh new season of X-Factor, American Idol, and Glee, plus our highly viewed local news and programming.
From late 2010 until August this year, our station tried and failed to reach a deal with DirecTV for continuing carriage of FOX 26. Companies like DirecTV use your subscription fees to pay for the channels that you and your friends watch. For the most popular TV stations those payments amount to 3¢-4¢ per day for each subscriber. That money – plus the sale of advertising - supports the local and national programming you care about.

DirecTV paid us just a fraction of the 3¢-4¢ per day it pays others. That is just not enough to support all that we do for our community. Without fair treatment by DirecTV, we can't afford to provide to DirecTV's customers the quality FOX programming, including the NFL, Pac 12 college football, the new season of X-Factor, American Idol, and Glee, plus our highly viewed local news and programming.

Today FOX 26 remains off the air with no reconciliation imminent.

I have heard from many of you, writing or calling to offer our support, angered at DirecTV’s treatment of us. You’ve acknowledged our success in renewing every single other agreement that has expired
Dozens of local stations and cable channels around the country have stood up to DirecTV just in the past few months. DirecTV dropped from its lineups many of those channels.
 during the past 21 months (the time we spent negotiating with DirecTV). You’ve also told me you wished you could get out of your long-term DirecTV contract and switch to someone else. I am sorry that your fall viewing choices remain limited.

You are not alone. Hundreds of thousands of DirecTV subscribers just like you, living in other communities, have had their weekends and evenings disrupted by fights a lot like ours. Dozens of local stations and cable channels around the country have stood up to DirecTV just in the past few months. DirecTV dropped from its lineups many of those channels. DirecTV has even snubbed several new channels, including the much-anticipated Pac-12 Network, in particularly high demand in our region.

My family started this company 17 years ago and standing up to DirecTV, and ultimately discontinuing our business relationship, was not a decision we took lightly. But given the David vs. Goliath treatment we were subjected to by DirecTV, we had no choice.
My family started this company 17 years ago and standing up to DirecTV, and ultimately discontinuing our business relationship, was not a decision we took lightly.


For those of you who have succeeded in severing your DirecTV relationship, welcome back. For those of you who have found FOX 26 using an over-the-air antenna, glad that you’re able to see our pristine HD signal.

As always, I invite you to contact DirecTV, which has hundreds of operators specially trained to deal with these sorts of customer complaints. Phone them at 1 800 DIRECTV (1-800-347-3288). At the very least one of DirecTV's out-of-state representatives will likely offer you $10-$20 off your monthly bill for six months to not switch to a competing provider.

I welcome your comments at any time – thank you again for your support.

Respectfully,
Brian Brady
Northwest Broadcasting

FOX 26 - Medford, Oregon
FOX 28 - Spokane, Washington
FOX 11 - Pendleton, Oregon/Tri-Cities, Washington
FOX 40 - Binghamton, New York 

What our viewers are saying:

It is my guess that DirecTV cannot charge a cancellation fee if they no longer provide what you signed up for. For what it is worth you get a better picture using your own antenna.


Having seen DirecTV threaten another Spokane station last Fall, and now you, it makes me glad I decided to go with Dish and not DirecTV. My wife and I enjoy much of your programming and would be disappointed if it weren't available.


I just wanted to let you know that as a customer of yours in the Binghamton Region, I respect the position you have taken on this issue. It was only a few weeks ago that Directv had a similar dispute with Viacomm - a dispute that resulted in the loss of some 12 channels for two weeks. This seems to be Directv's way of doing business. And in this particular case, for Directv to try and bully a local broadcasting station, it's simply reprehensible. So I applaud your refusal to give in to a bully, even if it does mean the loss of your great station. Keep up the fight!


Local stations shouldn't have to be pushed around, especially when DirecTV is paying other networks more money than our local channels who give back to our local communities more than we know. Does DirecTV do that?


...we have been pushed around for a long time by DirecTV and cable systems. They keep charging us more and more year after year with no justification. Now they see this chance as an opportunity to exploit a local channel to further justify their increased rates.

F.A.Q.:

Q: DirecTV says you were asking for too much money.

A: No, we had reached an agreement on the money, compromising on what we had initially sought in order to keep our DirecTV partnership and minimize disruption for our viewers. It was still less than what DirecTV pays others, but we believed it was fair. 

 

Q: DirecTV says you demanded that it more than triple the amount of money it was paying you.

A: During several weeks of intense negotiations, DirecTV offered to more than triple what it pays us, reflecting FOX 26's value. We were prepared to say “yes”. However, DirecTV’s offer came with other conditions that were so restrictive and unusual, we might have never seen the money. It was at this point that we lost trust in DirecTV and severed our business ties.

 

Q: DirecTV says you would raise my satellite bill.

A: Since you already are being charged by DirecTV for FOX 26, there is no reason DirecTV should increase your bill in order to compensate us for those shows. Competition and value, not the wholesale cost of any one ingredient (in this case one local TV station), determine pricing in our free-market economy.

 

Q:  DirecTV says that you are still negotiating and that 99% of these disputes are resolved quickly.  

A: We wish DirecTV well and thank them for their ten years of partnership, but we have ceased all negotiations with DirecTV and are moving forward to serve our viewers as best we can.  

 

Q:  DirecTV says FOX 26 isn’t worth much – it’s just one of 500 channels.

A: DirecTV drops channels all the time. But you’ve made our station special – it is often the most highly-viewed of every one of DirecTV’s 500 channels. Indeed, over the years when unhappy FOX viewers complain about losing their local FOX station, DirecTV gives them free HBO or six months for $10+ reductions in their bills.


Continue to watch FOX 26:

Alternative Services to DIRECTV:

 

Over the air signal - To determine the proper antenna type click here

 

Ashland Home Net - (541) 488-9207

Charter - (888) 692-8635

Dish Network - (888) 926-5457

Northland Cable - (530) 842-4228

 

Please call the service providers above to see if they are available in your area.


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