DirecTV dispute with Sunbeam has viewers in dark

By Curt Anderson

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Jan. 19 2012 4:44 p.m. MST

MIAMI — DirecTV Inc. and the owner of TV stations in Miami and Boston are in a standoff over fees the satellite provider pays to run broadcast programming. That's leaving tens of thousands of viewers unable to see shows ranging from "American Idol" to the NFL playoffs.

It's one of many disputes across the country between cable and satellite companies and local stations over what are known as retransmission fees. The latest dispute is between DirecTV and Sunbeam Television Corp.

In Miami, DirecTV viewers were unable to watch Fox's premiere of "American Idol" on Wednesday and last weekend's NFC playoff games.

Sunbeam also owns two stations in Boston. One of them would carry the Super Bowl — possibly featuring the hometown New England Patriots.

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