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KTLA Channel 5 Back on DirecTV

KTLA's parent company, Tribune, and DirecTV settle the dispute over retransmission fees.

A five-year agreement was reached Wednesday allowing DirecTV to resume retransmitting KTLA-TV Channel 5, Tribune Broadcasting's 22 other local stations and WGN America. The stations' signals returned to DirecTV customers at about 6 p.m. Channel 5 is the local affiliate for The CW.

DirecTV was forced to drop the stations from its service early Sunday when the two sides were unable to reach a new agreement after the old one expired.

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The feud stemmed from a disagreement about how much DirecTV should pay Tribune to retransmit the over-the-air broadcasts through the satellite provider's service. Although people can watch local stations for free using an antenna, cable and satellite television providers must pay retransmission fees to rebroadcast the content.

Terms of Wednesday's agreement were not disclosed.

"We're pleased that Tribune and their creditors now recognize that all DirecTV wanted from day one was to pay fair market rates for their channels," said Derek Chang, DirecTV's executive vice president of content, strategy and development.

"It's unfortunate that Tribune was willing to hold our customers hostage in an attempt to extract excessive rates, but in the end we reached a fair deal at market rates similar to what we originally agreed to on March 29. On behalf of our customers, we are very happy to close the deal and put this behind us."

Tribune Broadcasting had been seeking "an agreement that is similar to those that DirecTV already has in place with hundreds of other broadcasters and program providers," Tribune Broadcasting President Nils Larsen said Saturday.

Larsen said today that "we are extremely pleased to have reached an agreement with DirecTV and to return our valuable news, entertainment and sports programming to DirecTV subscribers."

"On behalf of Tribune Broadcasting, I want to thank viewers across all of our markets for their support, understanding, and patience during the negotiating process," Larsen said. "We truly regret the service interruptions of the last several days."

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