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Talks to restore KLAS-TV to Las Vegas DirecTV subscribers delayed

The standoff that has kept KLAS-TV, Channel 8, from being available on DirecTV moved into its second week Thursday.

The first face-to-face negotiations between their parent companies are scheduled for Saturday. That meeting was originally set for Friday, but those talks were canceled by Nexstar Media Group, owners of Channel 8, according to Scott Huscher, a public relations manager for AT&T and its DirecTV subsidiary.

The Las Vegas CBS affiliate — along with more than 120 others owned by the Irving, Texas-based Nexstar — was removed from DirecTV when the carriage contract expired at 11:59 p.m. July 3.

At the heart of the dispute is a retransmission fee — the money local stations charge cable and satellite providers to show the same content that’s available to the public for free, over the air, via an antenna.

Those fees have increased by 2,000 percent since 2008, according to AT&T.

“To be very clear, Nexstar is demanding to roughly double its fees. This is the largest fee increase AT&T and DirecTV has ever been presented in negotiations like these,” AT&T said in a statement.

“Nexstar continues to negotiate in good faith to establish a mutually agreeable contract” and has offered AT&T and DirecTV the same rates other companies have accepted so far this year, according to a news release. That release, dated July 9, was provided by Lisa Howfield, Channel 8’s vice president and general manager.

Nexstar representatives did not respond to a request for updated comments.

The current dispute has surpassed the one in 2016 that resulted in Channel 8 being removed from the local Cox Communications lineup and threatened access to Super Bowl 50.

That blackout lasted just over five days.

Contact Christopher Lawrence at clawrence@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4567. Follow @life_onthecouch on Twitter.

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