On the weekend of May 23-24, subscribers of DirecTV received an e-mail notice stating new equipment would soon be needed in order to receive local channels. It also said that KBTX would NOT be available through the new satellite.
DirecTV subscribers also received a letter in the mail the weekend of May 30-31 with the same information.
KBTX received a tip about this change a few weeks ago from a local DirecTV retailer. DirecTV arbitrarily made this decision without notifying KBTX or its customers.
As a result, negotiations between DirecTV and KBTX parent company Gray Television have been underway for several weeks. News 3 General Manager Mike Wright says he expects this issue to be resolved, but the timetable is unclear.
However, Wright says officials with DirecTV have been receptive and progress is being made in negotiations.
"KBTX is pleased with its five-year association with DirecTV, but we're shocked by this decision," Wright said. "KBTX viewers should be clear that we have offered DirecTV full rights for continued carriage of News 3.
"We are aware that when DirecTV was contacted by subscribers they were given false information as to why we were dropped, including 'KBTX chose not to move to the new satellite' to 'they had inferior equipment,'" Wright continued. "DirecTV's rival competitor, Dish Network, offers KBTX. We offer the same to Direct. I don't fault service representatives for Direct. They just don't have accurate information."
For now, besides antenna, Suddenlink, your local cable provider, and Dish Network are guaranteed methods of delivery for the KBTX signal. As with recently completed negotiations with Dish Network, a full update will be available later this week on kbtx.com.