DirecTV to Stop Carrying SBG Stations?

Sinclair Broadcast Group, whose stations are home to Ring of Honor’s television show, could potentially stop broadcasting on DirecTV at the end of February if a new deal to keep transmitting the stations is not reached.

Eighty-seven SBG stations in 47 markets such as Baltimore, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Las Vegas are up for renewal on Feb. 28. If a deal is not reached by 11:59 p.m. that night, then SBG stations will no longer be carried on DirecTV.

DirecTV released a statement that said there have been productive discussions to keep SBG’s stations on the DirecTV line-up, but talks seem to be at a standstill. SBG wants to be compensated for the millions of dollars they spend each year on programming, and wants DirecTV to pay “more than twice as much for the same programs that remain available completely free of charge over the air and online,” according to the DirecTV statement.

An agreement seems unlikely to be reached at this time.

If a deal is not reached, it could be a major blow to Ring of Honor. DirecTV is the world’s leading provider of digital television, and provides its services to almost 20 million people in North America alone, according to its website. It accounts for 21 percent of the of the more than 27 million households SBG reaches, according to Deadline.com.

If the two sides do not come to an agreement, then Ring of Honor will lose out on millions of potential viewers. In addition, Ring of Honor has focused its live events in SBG markets, and attendance could suffer as a result of the disagreement.

SBG stations will still be available on other services such as Dish Network or local cable. Ring of Honor fans can also watch the show online if the market no longer carries SBG’s stations.

Jon Shumake

Jon has been with ROHWorld since March 2011. The American Bearded Nightmare is one half of 'Team America' on ROHCast, which is available every week on ROHWorld, iTunes and Stitcher.