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COMMENTARY

Can DirecTV subscribers get a discount? How's Norah O'Donnell? Where is Ron Plants?

This is what I’m thinking:

If I were a DirecTV subscriber, I’d get in touch with the satellite provider to see if it was willing to give me a discount because WIVB-TV is off the service in a retransmission contract dispute.

In a question-and-answer session on WIVB.com about negotiations, the Nexstar station addresses an AT&T offer of up to a $75 credit on customers’ next bill and suggests DirecTV subscribers ask for it.

One reader who told me he has been with the satellite service for nine years, said after he complained his bill was dropped $50 a month after he committed for a year. He added he also was sent an indoor antenna with instructions on how to hook it up to the box.

I have not verified this offer.

If AT&T, DirecTV’s owner, is willing to give what amounts to a $600 yearly discount, it suggests it isn’t in any hurry to make a deal with Nexstar, WIVB’s owner.

Norah O'Donnell (Sonia Moskowitz/Globe Photos/Zuma Press/TNS)

The national ratings for the “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell” didn’t improve in weeks two and three, but there is an asterisk connected to its finish deeper in third place. Several CBS owned-and-operated stations weren’t carried on DirecTV for those two weeks because of a retransmission dispute that since has been settled. This week’s ratings for the network newscasts will be more worthy of scrutiny.

While O’Donnell’s newscast has taken a local-ratings hit because the local CBS affiliate is off of DirecTV, one CBS performer still won in Western New York during the July sweeps. “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” was No. 1 from 11:35 p.m. to 12:35 a.m. with a 2.4 household rating. “The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon” was second with a 2.1 household rating on WGRZ-TV. “Jimmy Kimmel Live” was fourth in the time slot with a 1.2 household rating on WKBW-TV, two-tenths of a point behind repeats of “Two and a Half Men” and “Last Man Standing” on WUTV.

Inquiring minds want to know: Why has bargain hunter Matt Granite disappeared from WGRZ-TV for the last few weeks or so? Granite is a former WGRZ staffer. He works out of town and supplies stories to the broadcast group TEGNA that owns WGRZ, as well as for other stations around the country.

“Matt is a freelancer and we are currently evaluating the future of the DealBoss franchise,” wrote WGRZ General Manager Jim Toellner. Granite has multiple roles, including as the host of “Amazon Live.”

Russell Crowe should win an Emmy next year for his role as disgraced Fox News creator Roger Ailes in Showtime’s “The Loudest Voice,” which finished its run Sunday. It was a devastating portrait of the No. 1 cable network and its outsized influence on American politics. It should be must-see TV, especially for all Fox News viewers. Here’s hoping the Showtime series will be rerun next summer on CBS prior to the 2020 presidential election.

Interestingly, “The Mel Robbins Show” is running advertisements on channels that it won’t premiere on this fall. I saw an advertisement for the new talk show featuring the motivational speaker and author on WGRZ asking viewers to check their local listings to see where it airs in their markets. WIVB has carried ads noting that the new talk show will premiere on sister station WNLO-TV this fall.

Inquiring minds want to know: Is WGRZ weekend anchor Ron Plants coming back to work any time soon? He has been off for months. There is no word coming from the station, most likely because of health privacy laws the station feels prevent it from discussing his situation.

I had trouble sitting through the entire boring premiere of the hourlong reboot of “Beverly Hills 90210” on Fox a week ago. However, I am not surprised it got a higher-than-normal live 2.9 rating on local Fox affiliate WUTV. Fox reports it was the summer’s highest-rated series debut on the network in more than two years. It also did very well in demographics. It also was Fox’s most-streamed summer debut ever. It will be interesting to see if the decent ratings were the result of people being curious about how Jason Priestley, Jennie Garth, Ian Ziering, Brian Austin Green, Tori Spelling, Shannen Doherty and Gabrielle Carteris look now, and whether viewers will remain for the second episode Wednesday night.

email: apergament@buffnews.com

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