DirecTV Presses FCC Again to Investigate Nexstar's Management Role With White Knight and Mission; End of Blackout Seems Nowhere in Sight

 White noise on TV
White noise on TV

The start of the NFL regular season is just 16 days away, but DirecTV and Nexstar appear no closer to resolving a blackout involving more than 200 network affiliates and a huge chunk of the pay TV operator's estimated remaining 12.4 million pay TV homes.

Also read: DirecTV Loses Estimated 400,000 Subs in Q2 ... With Monster Nexstar Blackout Lingering and the Start of the NFL Season Looming

On Monday, DirecTV lawyer Michael Nilsson sent a letter to the FCC, further pressing the satellite TV company's complaint that Nexstar's management services agreement with Mission Broadcasting and White Knight Broadcasting is inappropriate and against the rules.

In this latest FCC missive in the matter, Nilsson says there's no way that Nexstar can manage accounting and write press releases using information about Mission and White Knight's sensitive broadcast retransmission agreements and not expect for Nexstar's top-level executives to get their hands on that data.

Also read: DirecTV Sues Nexstar for ‘Conspiring’ With Mission and White Knight To Raise Retrans Fees

"Anybody involved 'in any way' in Nexstar’s retransmission consent negotiations (a term that surely includes whichever C-suite executives approve such deals or use such information to set budgets and other financial goals) should not have access to Mission’s or White Knight’s retransmission consent information," Nilsson wrote.

Since October, a total of 25 Mission and White Knight stations in 23 markets have been blacked out on DirecTV pay TV platforms. Since early July, 160 Nexstar stations have been blacked out on DirecTV satellite, DirecTV Stream and U-verse.

Nilsson called Nexstar's claims that it could keep its C-suite executives away from information they cannot legally have "implausible."

Monday's letter isn't notable in that it'll likely make the FCC intervene -- the agency tends to stay out of these types of retrans kerfuffles.

It's more interesting for what it says about the state of negotiations between DirecTV and Nexstar, which don't seem to be close to ending their impasse.