SJL Broadcasting, DirecTV reach retransmission agreement; WTVG to stay on air


A retransmission agreement between SJL Broadcasting, owners of Toledo’s WTVG Channel 13, and DirecTV was resolved today hours before a deadline that would have required the satellite carrier to remove the local ABC affiliate from its broadcast lineup.

An executive with Lilly Broadcasting, which has a close relationship with Montecito, Calif.-based SJL Broadcasting, said the two sides reached a deal in principle ahead of a 5 p.m. deadline. No details were available on the deal or when it would be formalized.

However, John Christianson, executive vice president of Lilly said the tentative deal assures that there will be no loss of service of WTVG for DirecTV subscribers while the agreement is being finalized.

Tom Tyrer, a spokesman for DirecTV, confirmed the tentative deal and that there will be no disruption of service while a new retransmission contract is being finalized with SJL.

SJL had put out a notice Sunday alerting DirecTV subscribers that there was a possibility of a loss of service and that the satellite service’s viewers might need to find other sources to receive WTVG.

A retransmission agreement is a set fee paid by a satellite service or cable provider that allows it to retransmit the signal of an over-the-air station on its service. The fees are usually less than that paid for cable stations because cable stations cannot be openly received over the air using just an antenna.