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Lilly Broadcasting channels go dark on DIRECTV

Lilly Broadcasting LLC-owned SJL Broadcasting's six stations representing 12 local channels went dark on AT&T Inc.'s DIRECTV on April 3, Phillip Swann first reported in his blog The TV Answer Man.

Affected channels include CBS (US) and The CW (US) affiliate WSEE-TV and NBC (US) affiliate WICU-TV in Erie, Pa.; CBS, The CW and ABC (US) affiliates WENY in Elmira, N.Y.; ABC and MeTV channels KMAU-TV in Wailuku, Hawaii; ABC and MeTV channels KHVO-TV in Hilo, Hawaii; and ABC and MeTV channels KITV-TV in Honolulu, Hawaii, according to the April 3 report.

SJL posted messages on its websites in early March informing DIRECTV subscribers of a possible blackout, saying that negotiations with DIRECTV were ongoing and that it hoped to reach a fair deal reflecting the current marketplace. DIRECTV, on the other hand, said on DIRECTVPromise.com, its retrans dispute outreach website, that the broadcaster is the one preventing the channels from reaching consumers.

AT&T in January ended a retrans spat with Hearst Corp. by reaching a new retransmission-consent agreement, thereby restoring 30 of the broadcaster's stations to DIRECTV subscribers in 26 markets.

Millions in monthly retrans revenues could be at stake in retrans disputes, according to a recent Kagan study.