Who won the national dispute between Nexstar, the owner of WIVB, and AT&T, the owner of DirecTV, that was settled Thursday night?
It is hard to say, since no financial details were revealed in the announcement of the deal about how much AT&T will pay to carry the Nexstar stations.
Both sides were losers.
Nexstar, which had stations in 97 markets off DirecTV since July 4, presumably lost advertising revenue at local stations like WIVB and WNLO because of lower ratings.
DirecTV lost some subscribers who dropped the service because of the dispute and is it unknown how many will return.
The unknown for Nexstar is how many news viewers who couldn’t watch its stations on DirecTV in 97 markets for several weeks switched to watching newscasts on competing stations and won’t come back.
On Thursday – the first night that WIVB was back on DirecTV – WGRZ won the 11 p.m. news time slot with a 6.6 rating. WIVB was second with a 3.1 rating, barely ahead of the 2.9 rating for the newscast of third place WKBW that ran after the station’s post-Bills game report at 10:30 p.m.
At 10 p.m., WIVB’s sister station WNLO won the half-hour competition with a 3.2 rating to a 2.9 rating for WGRZ’s newscast on Fox affiliate WUTV.