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DirecTV Strikes Delmarva Deal

WBOC-TV and its Fox-programmed and WBOC Classics multicast channels went dark to some viewers early Aug. 4, but it was only temporary and had nothing to with the carriage dispute with DirecTV. The stations serve the Delmarva (Delaware/Maryland'Virginia) peninsula on the Eastern Shore.

DirecTV and the stations' parent Draper Holdings as of Friday had struck a new retransmission consent deal that will keep WBOC-TV on DirecTV for the "foreseeable future." Currently about 29,000 viewers in the stations' viewing area have DirecTV.

But what the station did not foresee was a transmitter failure early Monday morning that had the station temporarily off the air to broadcast viewers," said the station, which switched to a back-up generator.

The stations are back on with reduced power, according to WBOC's website, and remains available on cable operators and satellite operators — including DirecTV thanks to the 11th hour retrans deal.

WBOC had warned viewers last Thursday that it had not been able to strike a deal with DirecTV and as of Aug. 1 they could miss their local news, Jeopardy!, sports and more.

"We want to reach an agreement with DIRECTV," Craig Jahelka, VP and general manager of WBOC-TV, said last week. "We don't want any of our approximately 29,000 DIRECTV customers to lose access to our programs."

They didn't. 

"WBOC-TV and FOX21 are pleased to announce we will continue to be available to DIRECTV subscribers," Jahelka said after the deal was done.