KOMU Goes Dark on DirecTV

KOMU Columbia (Mo.), the University of Missouri-owned NBC affiliate, is dark for DirecTV subscribers following a retransmission disagreement. The agreement expired at the end of March, and the signals went dark April 11.

Matt Garrett, director of audience advancement at KOMU says that DirecTV "demanding things that, quite frankly, we can't agree to," including streaming all programming, network and syndicated shows. "We don't have that right to grant," Garrett told the paper.

DirecTV said in a statement on its website:

"The University of Missouri has intentionally shut down KOMU serving Columbia, Jefferson City and the surrounding Missouri communities to try to force DirecTV customers to pay nearly five times more for the same NBC and CW programming others continue to get for free…As a public university that already relies upon state tuitions and other public monies and subsidies, the University of Missouri ought to know that broadcast licenses are conditioned on serving the public rather than antagonizing it."

Marty Siddall, general manager at KOMU, said the station is awaiting a response to its latest proposal for DirecTV. He stressed that the station, while owned by the University of Missouri, is self-sustaining and does not receive funding from it.