BEND, Ore. - Actor and former DirecTV advertising spokesperson Rob Lowe is among 390,000 unique subscribers who apparently will not be able to watch Sunday's NFL Playoffs due to a carriage dispute between DirecTV and News-Press and Gazette Broadcast.
NPG Broadcast owns and operates television stations in ten markets, including KTVZ and KFXO in Bend and KKFX, the Fox affiliate in Santa Barbara, California that Lowe referred to in a tweet sent Saturday.
Lowe has subsequently deleted the tweet in which he identified himself as "Screwed Over Rob Lowe with @DirecTV," a reference to his former role as advertising pitchman for the satellite television provider.
DirecTV shut off programming provided by NPG at 5 pm Central on Thursday January 12th for viewers in Colorado Springs, CO, El Paso, TX, Santa Barbara, CA, Monterey, CA, Columbia, MO, Palm Springs, CA, Idaho Falls, ID, Yuma, AZ, Bend, OR and St. Joseph, MO. There has not been any disruption of service for customers of other satellite or cable providers.
NPG President of Broadcast Mike Meara says: "NPG has been negotiating in good faith since September 6th, when we presented our first offer to DirecTV. Since then, DirecTV has responded with delay tactics and employed a campaign of misinformation with its customers."
NPG has responded by launching a campaign asking viewers to "Save My Local Station" in each of its markets. NPG is keeping viewers up to date on negotiation efforts online, in its newscasts and on station social media channels. DirecTV has not issued any public statement regarding its position on negotiations.
DirecTV canceled its "I'm Rob Lowe" advertising campaign after the Better Business Bureau's National Advertising Division complained that several of DirecTV's claims could not be substantiated.