Home Miami TV Sunbeam Pulls WSVN, WHDH From DirecTV

Sunbeam Pulls WSVN, WHDH From DirecTV


Most people were convinced Sunbeam and DirecTV would come to an agreement at the last second but neither side budged so WSVN, WHDH and WLVI have gone dark on DirecTV after an agreement was not reached by 11:59pm on Friday night. DirecTV followed that with a scathing press release calling Sunbeam an outlier “who has no problem committing an unthinkable abuse of the public trust in an effort to shake down an excessive financial arrangement for themselves.” Adding that Sunbeam asked for a 300% increase in the retransmission fee, though they didn’t specify what the previous fee was. DirecTV press release after the jump

EL SEGUNDO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Sunbeam Television, a Miami-based station owner, today denied DIRECTV customers in its south Florida hometown access to their local FOX station, blacking out this Saturday’s and Sunday’s NFL divisional playoff games in an egregious attempt to extract a more than 300 percent increase in fees. As a result of Sunbeam’s actions, DIRECTV customers in Boston have also lost their local NBC and CW affiliates.

DIRECTV made repeated requests to extend its agreement to carry Sunbeam Television stations so negotiations could continue and to avoid the loss of this afternoon’s NFC playoff game between the San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints, as well as tomorrow afternoon’s contest between the NY Giants and defending NFL Champion Green Bay Packers.

Not only did Sunbeam flat out refuse this request, they sent a demand letter today dictating that the channels be removed immediately from DIRECTV. This decision rests solely on the shoulders of Sunbeam executives, so customers should call Sunbeam’s corporate offices and insist the channels be restored so customers aren’t placed in the middle while both sides work toward a deal to enable everyone to move on.

Over the past 12 months, DIRECTV has achieved fair and equitable agreements with more than 70 local station owners representing hundreds of different TV channels (including stations in Boston and Miami) and without any programming disruptions. More than 20 of those agreements came within the past several weeks alone.

“There is always one outlier, like Sunbeam, who has no problem committing an unthinkable abuse of the public trust in an effort to shake down an excessive financial arrangement for themselves,” said Derek Chang, executive vice president of Programming for DIRECTV. “We have no problem compensating Sunbeam fairly, but we have to take a stand against runaway greed and a shameless attempt to extort a more than 300 percent fee increase that our customers risk having to absorb. Sunbeam has completely disregarded its obligations to the public, NFL fans and hundreds of thousands of our loyal customers.”

Local broadcast station owners like Sunbeam operate under Federal license to freely use the airwaves and have a responsibility to all consumers to provide reasonable access to their programming. Threats by station owners and forced blackouts are a rising trend affecting other pay TV distributors, which has not escaped the attention of the Federal Communications Commission and members of Congress. DIRECTV will bring the Sunbeam matter to the attention of both the Federal Communications Commission and Congressional representatives from Sunbeam districts.


DIRECTV (NASDAQ: DTVNews) is one of the world’s leading providers of digital television entertainment services delivering a premium video experience through state-of-the-art technology, unmatched programming and industry leading customer service to more than 30.8 million customers in the U.S. and Latin America. In the U.S., DIRECTV offers its 19.7 million customers access to more than 170 HD channels and Dolby-Digital® 5.1 theater-quality sound, access to exclusive sports programming such as NFL SUNDAY TICKET™, Emmy- award winning technology and higher customer satisfaction than the leading cable companies for 11 years running. DIRECTV Latin America, through its subsidiaries and affiliated companies in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, and other Latin American countries, leads the pay-TV category in technology, programming and service, delivering an unrivaled digital television experience to more than 11.1 million customers. DIRECTV sports and entertainment properties include three Regional Sports Networks (Northwest, Rocky Mountain and Pittsburgh) as well as a 60 percent interest in Game Show Network. For the most up-to-date information on DIRECTV, please visit www.directv.com.


DIRECTV Robert Mercer, 310-964-4683 rgmercer@directv.com or Thomas Tyrer, 310-874-0441 ttyrer@directv.com
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  1. “who has no problem committing an unthinkable abuse of the public trust in an effort to shake down an excessive financial arrangement for themselves.”


  2. I’m a Mass. Native, and would feel for my native New-Englanders with DirecTV should the Pats make the Super Bowl and this issue isn’t resolved by then.

  3. I honestly feel and suspect Sunbeam Corporation and all of it’s heads including head Ed Ansin are being cruel to all the customers as they are very much money hungry as they are very much attempting to be like Neil Bogart from Casablanca Records fame of the 1970’s and trying to be like the Enron’s and the Worldcom’s by forcing Directv to accepts a very big rate and fee increase for the rights to carry his stations so he could spend the money very lavishly and very recklessly so he could spend it on buying luxury homes, luxury cars, join up for luxurious clubs, paying up all the women employees at the corporate level and at it’s stations they owned so the women have the money to spend on having good coats for them to wear when it’s cold outside just to make all the women employees happy, buy up all the Snuggie blankets they could get and buy to make them happy, and other luxurious materials then wanting to improve all 3 of the stations he owned to compete for ratings. I wouldn’t mind wanting NBC both WSVN and WHDH for the NBC affiliation by spinning Miami’s 6 off to FOX News Corp and Hearst buys Boston’s CW station and combined it with Boston’s and New Hampshire’s ABC stations with a concession that they would promise not to blackout all the viewers with cable and satellite for 12 years when negotiating an agreement to carry the stations. This will be the true punishment for Sunbeam’s being very dishonest and very selfish to all it’s viewers who watch their stations. I very honestly want to share my opinions to all the viewers and not meant to rant to the viewers. I feel that the retransmission content abuse is totally getting out of control.

    • Losing a TV station from a satellite provider is cruelty?

      You need to get a life or some perspective. War is cruel. Killing someone’s dog is cruel.

      Losing a TV station is not cruel. What kind of a whiny loser are you to be so worked up about a single TV channel?

      Maybe you have Direct and you’re mad. Perhaps you can now get off your butt and do something besides sit in front of the idiot box.

      You write like you are either a nut or a third grader.

      • What is wrong with YOU!! Do you have nothing better to do than comment on peoples rants about not receiving something they are paying for. YOU are the LOSER with a giant capital L.
        Get a life!!!!! And go to hell!!!!!

  4. if you have an HD TV get an antenna at wally world, OR a paper clip and a length of wire. I did that for new years since i got no TV at all. worked just fine

  5. I’m a DIRECTTV subscriber. What a shock. Sunbeam’s trying to milk out a huge rate increase. I can’t stand them.

    Fine by me WSVN. The few FOX shows I watch I’ll just get straight from the internet. That way I won’t have to sit through promos for your crappy news shows either.

  6. Sunbeam Communications is a clear display of corporate greed at it finest. They yanked programming a few weeks before the Super Bowl so that they can squeeze Direct TV to play more for their programming which we both know the costs are getting passed on to “we” the consumers. We get screwed again by a big company with alot of money. I think everyone should boycott NBC affilated shows and let their advertisting dollars and viewer rating dry up. So that “they” can feel what being blacked out for good feels like. Super Bowl advertisers should read these type of comments to see what companies they are entrusting with their products. Sunbeam should grow up and end ths stale mate with Direct TV ASAP.

    • How you getting screwed? Didn’t anyone tell you WSVN is a free station? Direct TV is not.

      And if you boycott NBC, you will be boycotting the wrong station.

      Good luck on that boycott, drying up their advertisers and blacking them out.

      Super Bowl advertisers aren’t worried about some guy with an egg crate coffee table and no car living in Hialeah.

      I’m sure Ed Ansin is not worried about you either.

  7. Have you people all lost your minds?there are thousands if not tens of thousand or more likely hundreds of thousands of subscribers to direct tv,are both sides of this negotiation that greedy that you cant reach an agreement over lousy money while we pay our direct tv bills and cannot watch the afc championship(I happen to live in boston and I am also a big patriots fan,and if I cannot watch the game at home I may be forced to terminate any agreement that I have with direct tv and pursu other providers of.sattelite or cable television providers,I just got direct tv about 5 months ago because I dislike comcast very much,so now I am probably going to be.forced to get dishnetwork because I’m not aware of any other providers in my area.I MEAN COME ON PEOPLE,STOP BEING STUBBORN AND GET THIS CHANNEl BACK ON THE DIRECT TV SERVICE,both of your companies are going to lose millions for pulling this little stunt.if I have.to travel to go. Out watch tha “AFC” championship game I personally will beg,plead and in some cases demand that my friends aquaintances,relatives and even any house I see.a.dish on I will knock on their door and ask them to change their network so the are not held hostage by a company like yours.you both should be ashamed of yourselves and you should pray long and hard that the repercussions from this decision are not too too severe,but I personally hope that you lose so much money that you have to go bankrupt just because you are corrupt and deserve what you all have coming.

  8. I went online to the Directv website and was able to fill out a waiver. I am now receiving the NBC station out of NYC. I don’t miss WHDH at all. I hope Directv never settles with Sunbeam. Google – directv waiver – and follow the link to find out if your area qualifies for a waiver. It only takes about 5 minutes.

  9. All of you New Englanders should pursue acquiring a waiver from/through DirecTV. That will allow you to bypass WHDH, NBC-7 and get direct service from WNBC, NBC-4 on Channel 392 SD. That’s the best way to show how displeased you are at Sunbeam. Because of the market and layout of Boston’s DMA there are plenty of people who fall outside the coverage area – especially those people near the Cape in the South and out West near Worcester.

    For those in South Florida, if you are going to invest in a good over-the-air antennae, point it North towards WFLX, FOX-29.


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