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KTLA leaves its wallet in El Segundo? Deal with DirecTV is unclear (Updated)

Photo by Kevin T. Houle via Flickr Creative Commons

The owners of KTLA have reached an agreement with DirecTV for payment to carry the channel, meaning Channel 5 will not disappear from DirecTV satellite dishes in California this weekend.

The nation's largest satellite TV provider issued a news release that it had reached agreement with Chicago-based Tribune Broadcasting for local carriage of KTLA. Carriage of Tribune's cable channel, WGN America, is also covered by the deal.

Terms were not disclosed.

KTLA is transmitted for free over the air to customers in the Los Angeles market, but most people get the signal either by satellite or cable. Those services must negotiate a fee to help pay for the programming from the pay-TV companies.

Tribune owns 23 local television stations across the country, including its pioneer television station in Los Angeles. It also owns the Los Angeles Times, where front-page ads have warned DirecTV customers about the pending loss of service.

The carriage agreement was announced by DirecTV in a news release from its headquarters in El Segundo, near Los Angeles International Airport. There was no comment from Chicago-based Tribune, and the KTLA web site continued to warn viewers today that they risk losing access to Channel 5 programming at midnight tonight.

UPDATE 3:20 p.m. - Tribune Broadcasting is denying that it has reached a settlement with satellite television provider DirecTV.  "Any statement by DirecTV to the contrary is inaccurate and misleading," Tribune said. DirecTV fired back, saying in another statement that it had a handshake deal with Tribune on Thursday with an agreed upon rate for their channels. "Their actions are the true definition of 'bad faith' in every sense of the term," DirecTV said.