KOMU Dark For DirecTV Subscribers

KOMU Columbia (Mo.), the University of Missouri-owned NBC affiliate, is dark for DirecTV subscribers following a retransmission disagreement. The agreement expired at the end of March, and the signals went dark April 11, according to the Columbia Daily Tribune.

KOMU airs The CW on a subchannel. That too is dark for DirecTV subs.

Matt Garrett, director of audience advancement at KOMU, told the newspaper DirecTV is "demanding things that, quite frankly, we can't agree to," including streaming all programming, network and syndicated shows. "We don't have that right to grant," Garrett told the paper.

DirecTV said in a statement on its website:

"The University of Missouri has intentionally shut down KOMU serving Columbia, Jefferson City and the surrounding Missouri communities to try to force DirecTV customers to pay nearly five times more for the same NBC and CW programming others continue to get for free…As a public university that already relies upon state tuitions and other public monies and subsidies, the University of Missouri ought to know that broadcast licenses are conditioned on serving the public rather than antagonizing it."

Marty Siddall, general manager at KOMU, said the station is awaiting a response to its latest proposal for DirecTV. He stressed that the station, while owned by the University of Missouri, is self-sustaining and does not receive funding from it.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.