What Happened to NBC on DirecTV? In a sudden turn of events, DirecTV customers were left in the dark when they lost access to numerous Nexstar Media Group channels. This blackout affected a wide range of popular networks, including ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and CW affiliates, leaving viewers without their favorite shows and live sporting events. The contract dispute between DirecTV and Nexstar escalated, resulting in the removal of 159 Nexstar-owned stations from DirecTV’s lineup. The blackout commenced on Sunday at 4 p.m. PT, impacting millions of viewers across the country. This article delves into the details of what transpired and explores the implications for both companies and consumers.

What Happened to NBC on DirecTV?
What Happened to NBC on DirecTV? DirecTV satellite dishes in Culver City. 
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Details In Short :

  • Date: Sunday, 2 July 2023, at 4 p.m.
  • Channels Affected: ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and CW affiliates
  • Number of Stations: 159 Nexstar-owned stations
  • Viewership Impact: Millions of DirecTV customers affected nationwide
  • Reason for Blackout: Contract dispute between DirecTV and Nexstar
  • Failed Negotiations: No new distribution contract reached
  • DirecTV’s Proposal: Contract extension proposal declined
  • Avoiding Disruption: Nexstar offered extension until October 31 to prevent football season disruptions
  • DirecTV’s Decision: Chose to remove channels to avoid potential blackout
  • Impact on Programming: Loss of favorite shows, live sports, and local news
  • Fee Increase Demands: Nexstar sought fee increases for rising programming costs
  • Future Negotiations: DirecTV open to further negotiations with Nexstar

The Contract Dispute

The nationwide blackout on DirecTV occurred due to the failure of the two companies, DirecTV and Nexstar, to reach a new distribution contract before the Sunday night deadline. The negotiations had been ongoing for weeks, with DirecTV proposing a contract extension, which was declined by Nexstar. In an effort to avoid disrupting viewership during the NFL and college football seasons, Nexstar offered to extend the contract until October 31. However, DirecTV was unwilling to risk a potential blackout and chose to remove the channels from its satellite TV service, as well as DirecTV Stream and U-verse products. Consequently, this decision left DirecTV customers without access to Nexstar station signals.

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The Impact on Viewers

The sudden removal of Nexstar-owned channels from DirecTV platforms had a significant impact on viewers. Notably, popular networks such as NBC, which broadcasts a wide range of content including news, sports, and entertainment, were no longer accessible to DirecTV customers. Additionally, ABC, CBS, Fox, and CW network affiliates were affected by the blackout. The absence of these channels disrupted the daily viewing routines of countless individuals who rely on DirecTV for their entertainment needs. With the blackout occurring during the height of the NFL and college football seasons, sports enthusiasts were particularly disappointed as they missed out on live games and coverage.

Reasons Behind the Dispute

Channel blackouts have become increasingly common in recent years as TV channel distributors, including DirecTV, aim to control costs and avoid passing them onto customers through higher bills. DirecTV, like other pay-TV providers, has faced significant customer losses due to cord-cutting trends. As a result, they were reluctant to entertain Nexstar’s demands for fee increases. On the other hand, station owners, such as Nexstar, seek fee increases to compensate for rising programming costs, including sports content. The declining ratings of broadcast TV and lower pay-TV household penetration further complicate the revenue equation for programmers. DirecTV’s decision to remove the channels stemmed from their refusal to meet Nexstar’s demands for more than double the previous fees.

DirecTV’s Response

In response to the blackout, DirecTV issued a statement outlining the sequence of events that led to the loss of Nexstar-controlled stations. The company highlighted its refusal to pay the exorbitant fees demanded by Nexstar, which ultimately led to the withdrawal of ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and CW stations, as well as NewsNation, from select markets. DirecTV emphasized its commitment to resolving the situation and protecting customers from unwarranted price increases. Despite the challenges, DirecTV expressed its willingness to continue negotiations with Nexstar in the hope of reaching a mutually beneficial agreement.

Nexstar’s Position

Nexstar Media Group, based in Irving, Texas, responded to the blackout by expressing hope for a swift resolution. The company emphasized its desire to provide viewers with their favorite network programming, live sports events, and local news, which hold significant relevance to their communities. Nexstar defended its fee increase demands as necessary to support the costs of programming and to maintain the quality of content provided to viewers. The media group also alluded to the challenges faced by broadcast networks in light of shifting viewer habits and the increasing popularity of online streaming platforms.

The Larger Context

This blackout is not an isolated incident but part of a wider trend in the TV industry. Nexstar, as a major station owner, has been involved in similar disputes with other TV distributors in the past. It has threatened or removed stations from DirecTV, Verizon FIOS, Comcast Xfinity, DISH Network, FuboTV, and Altice USA-Optimum, affecting viewers across various metro areas. Nexstar’s ownership and control of multiple ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX affiliates in the same communities have raised concerns about exceeding national ownership caps. Moreover, Nexstar’s attempts to include less popular channels, such as the CW, in DirecTV lineups have further complicated negotiations and increased costs for customers.


The blackout of NBC and other Nexstar-owned stations on DirecTV has left a significant impact on viewers across the country. As negotiations between DirecTV and Nexstar continue, customers are urged to explore alternative means of accessing their favorite programming, such as local station and national network websites, apps, streaming services, and over-the-air broadcasts. While the future remains uncertain, both companies must find common ground to ensure uninterrupted access to quality content for viewers while maintaining a sustainable business model in an evolving media landscape.

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