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KCRA TV warns of DirecTV blockout

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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It’s not at the “I want my Channel 3” stage yet but Sacramento’s KCRA TV station is warning that some viewers may be left in the dark Jan. 1. KCRA’s parent company Hearst Television is embroiled with DirecTV in a wrangle over retransmission of its television programs. And station general manager Elliott Troshinsky is warning subscribers to the dish system that the station may be unavailable to viewers starting New Year’s Day. “We believe that we and DirecTV can conclude our negotiations before Jan. 1 so as not to deprive all of our respective viewers and customers of our programming,” Troshinsky said. But Troshinsky said that he wants to advise viewers and customers that the possibility of non-renewal of the station’s current agreement exists. KCRA isn’t keeping the possibility a secret with viewers. It will continue to announce new developments on air and through its kcra.com website, he said. Hearst Television owns 29 TV stations around the U.S., including KQCA Channel 58 and KCRA in Sacramento. KCRA is an NBC affiliate – one of 10 Argyle owns in the U.S. Warnings of a possible Channel 3 blockout for DirecTV subscribers in the area come as a dispute between Dish Network and Comcast Inc. continues in the area. A flap over compensation Comcast would receive for allowing Dish Network to carry its 10 regional sports stations resulted in Dish Network dropping Comcast SportsNet California Nov. 24. That followed arbitration that Comcast won but Dish Network balked at agreeing to, citing legal and factual errors. That’s left Dish Network subscribers expecting Sacramento Kings and San Jose Sharks games in the lurch until a new agreement can be worked out. – Gus Thomson