The Raycom impasse is the latest carriage headache for DIRECTV as the year comes to a close. Hearst Television is warning that DIRECTV will lose the right to carry roughly 30 of its local stations on January 1 if the two companies don't reach a new programming pact by then.
And DIRECTV is negotiating with the Comcast-owned Golf Channel to keep it on the air. The satcaster's current agreement with the Golf Channel also expires at the end of the year.
The Raycom blackout could extend to such major markets as Tucson (CBS affiliate) Cleveland (CBS affiliate) and Charlotte, North Carolina (CBS affiliate). Raycom owns roughly 40 local TV stations, but it's unclear if each station would be affected by this impasse.
The Arizona Daily Star reports that DIRECTV is claiming that its agreement with Raycom will renew automatically at the end of the year and that its customers will not lose any local channels.
But several Raycom-owned stations, including WOLD in Tucson, WBTV in Charlotte and WOIO in Cleveland, today are running notices at their web sites alerting DIRECTV viewers that their signals could go dark at the end of the week.