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DirecTV viewers in Detroit Lakes might lose local CBS affiliate


DirecTV customers in the Fargo area may not receive KXJB-TV programming after midnight Thursday unless the two sides reach a retransmission agreement before that time.

The TV station - which carries CBS Network programming - and the satellite TV provider had a previous agreement which expired Dec. 31, according to a statement posted on the TV station's "Valley News Live" Web site.

The statement was written by KXJB-TV General Manager Charley Johnson, who could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Johnson wrote, "... the station has so far been unable to reach a new agreement with DirecTV for the right to continue carrying KXJB programming."

DirecTV spokesman Robert Mercer said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday night "we're still in discussions and attempting to negotiate a fair deal. We're willing to keep the station up while negotiations continue."

DirecTV is based in El Segundo, Calif.

Viewers in Hubbard, Wadena, Beltrami, Douglas and Todd counties would not be affected by a potential blackout of the CBS stations as those areas are served by Minneapolis-based stations.

According to recent news reports, other stations across the country have experienced difficulties in securing retransmission agreements with DirecTV.

The satellite provider quit transmitting KJZZ-TV programming to its subscribers on Dec. 31 after the two sides failed to reach an agreement, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Monday.

KXJB-TV transmits CBS programming - including to the Red River Valley. It's unknown how many DirecTV subscribers would be affected by a KXJB blackout.

If an agreement with DirecTV cannot be reached by midnight, Johnson writes that other providers such as CableOne and competing satellite dish providers still carry KXJB programming. "We sincerely regret the inconvenience this causes our DirecTV viewers."