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KCRA restored to DirecTV customers after media giants reach agreement

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Curtis Carroll, of West Sacramento, a digital antenna enthusiast, holds an RCA digital antenna as he demonstrates how to use one to get around the DirecTV blackout of KCRA Channel 3 in the Sacramento region.
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Curtis Carroll, of West Sacramento, a digital antenna enthusiast, holds an RCA digital antenna as he demonstrates how to use one to get around the DirecTV blackout of KCRA Channel 3 in the Sacramento region.

After almost a week of negotiations, Hearst Television has reached an agreement to restore service to DirecTV customers.

“We regret the inconvenience to DirecTV subscribers and are indebted to them and all of our advertisers for their support,” said Hearst President Jordan Wertlieb said on Saturday in a statement posted to the websites of its stations, including Sacramento NBC affiliate KCRA (Channel 3).

The financial terms were not disclosed.

The dispute between DirecTV parent AT&T and Hearst Television was part of a broader debate between pay-TV providers and broadcast stations over transmission fees. The contract between the two companies expired at 12:01 a.m. Jan. 1 and left KCRA along with other Hearst channels dark in 28 cities across the nation.

Both sides buckled down last week, with Hearst criticizing DirecTV for trying to negotiate “below market rates,” while AT&T described Hearst as trying to grab “a significant increase.”

The DirecTV-Hearst showdown affected about 16 percent of households in the four-county Sacramento region. The two Hearst stations in the area include KCRA, Channel 3, and its sister station, KQCA My58.

Richard Chang: 916-321-1018, @RichardYChang

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