The impasse between Triangle television channels WRAL and WRAZ and satellite television provider DirecTV – a situation that led to a blackout of the two stations – has been broken.
The two stations, both owned by Raleigh-based Capitol Broadcasting, once again became available to DirecTV subscribers Wednesday afternoon.
Steven Hammel, vice president and general manager of WRAL, said DirecTV resumed carrying the two stations’ signals after the two sides reached an agreement to renew their contract.
“The winner is the viewer,” Hammel said. “You never want to see viewers caught in the middle. Unfortunately, they were.”
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The blackout, which began at 7:09 p.m. Monday, was the result of a dispute over how much in carriage fees DirecTV will pay Capitol to broadcast its stations. It was a situation that frustrated DirecTV subscribers and triggered worries that they might not be able to see this Sunday’s AFC and NFC Championship games and the upcoming Super Bowl, all three of which will be carried by WRAL or WRAZ.
Disputes between stations and satellite and cable providers are par for the course these days, but it’s less common for stations to be blacked out while the two sides negotiate. The contract between the stations and DirecTV was extended several times prior to Monday’s black out.
DirecTV officials couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.