DirecTV Wins Summary Judgement in 2015 D.C. Retrans Fight as N.Y. Supreme Court Rules Nexstar Duped Satellite Company About NBC Affiliation

DirecTV service truck
(Image credit: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Tell you one thing — DirecTV and Nexstar have beef. And plenty of it. 

But some of that discord got closer to resolution over the weekend, when the New York Supreme Court issued a summary judgment in favor of DirecTV, ruling that Nexstar Media Group breached a 2015 broadcast retransmission contract by not telling the satellite pay TV company that its Washington, D.C. station, then known as WHAG, was about to lose its NBC affiliation and become The CW station WDVM.

The court ruled that Nexstar lured DirecTV into the 2015 deal “based on a misleading or materially incomplete representation that WHAG would continue its affiliation.” 

NBCUniversal ended its affiliate agreement with WHAG on July 1, 2016.

A formal announcement of the court's decision is expected Tuesday. 

The court ruled that Nexstar must pay DirecTV back “several million dollars,” plus interest, for charging the pay TV company a Big Four retrans rate for what it privately knew would ultimately become, within the lifespan of the contract, a CW affiliate. 

DirecTV is seeking many more dollars via a fraud claim. The court will rule on that matter later this year. 

Separately, DirecTV filed another suit against Nexstar in March in a New York federal court, claiming Nexstar is conspiring with station groups White Knight and Mission Broadcasting to artificially raise retrans fees. 

And if that weren't enough, DirecTV is also locked into what has been called the largest broadcast retransmission blackout in TV history, with more than 200 Nexstar, White Knight and Mission network affiliates removed from DirecTV's program grid two weeks ago. 

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!