A blackout blocked DirecTV subscribers from watching Charleston's CBS television affiliate on Monday after contractual talks hit an impasse.
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The satellite TV provider and Raycom Media could not agree on the fees that DirecTV must pay the Montgomery, Ala.-based station owner for the right to retransmit network programming to its viewers.
The negotiating deadline expired late Sunday night.
It was not clear how long the WCSC-TV blackout will last.
"We continue diligently to work for a resolution of this matter, but so far have been unable to reach an agreement for continued carriage of Live 5 WCSC," the West Ashley station said in a statement posted on its website Monday. "This is particularly disappointing because all the other TV providers in our area have agreements with us, and those agreements are fundamentally similar to the one we have been negotiating with DirecTV."
The amount of retransmission fees in dispute was not disclosed, but DirecTV said in a written statement Monday that it's "more than double" the previous charges.
"We will always work to protect our customers and prevent them from enduring any unnecessary interruptions, no matter how brief," the company said. "We appreciate their patience because it will have a direct impact on their bill."
WCSC-TV said affected viewers can still watch CBS shows with a free over-the-air signal, online or by switching pay TV providers.
The blackout affects other Raycom-owned properties around the country.
Typically, such fee disputes get worked out before the negotiating deadline expires. WCSC-TV has been warning viewers about a potential DirecTV blackout during broadcasts in recent weeks. Talks have been underway for three months, Raycom said.
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