DirecTV subscribers in Boston and Miami lost access to Sunbeam channels earlier this month, as the both the parties failed to reach a settlement regarding the broadcasting. Sunbeam Television also hinted that there is a possibility that the Dish subscribers in Boston may also face the similar fate as of DirecTV packages subscribers.
DirecTV has complained that Sunbeam authorities are asking for an increased fee, while the latter has responded by saying that they are only asking for a fair market value. This is the second dispute between these two companies in 2 years. The earlier dispute resulted in the loss of Sunbeam channels for 13 days.
DirecTV parent AT&T said, “We want to get these three stations back into our customers’ line-ups and share their frustration. The stations’ owner, Sunbeam Television, is prohibiting WHDH and WLVI in Boston and WSVN in Miami from reaching their homes, unless they receive a significant increase in their current fees just to let the same families keep watching shows that remain available for free over-the-air and often online. Sunbeam has kept its stations from our customers several times before, so we appreciate our customers’ patience as we work to get them back and attempt to resolve this matter with the least possible inconvenience.”
Sunbeam Television issued a brief statement on their Boston affiliated website saying that DirecTV customers can still access their channels through air by using an antenna or by using other video providers. Sunbeam also issued a warning that the Dish Network customers may also face a similar fate, if a deal hasn’t reached by July 22.
Dish Network guaranteed that they hope a settlement can be reached. “Only Sunbeam Television Corporation can force a blackout of its channels,” the satellite TV provider said in a press release. “Dish is actively working to reach a deal before the contract expires. Dish has successfully negotiated agreements representing hundreds of stations in recent months that benefit all parties, including our viewers. We are unsure why Sunbeam decided to involve customers in the contract negotiation process at a point when there is still time for the two parties to reach a mutually beneficial deal.”