Satellite HD Locals In Youngstown

An item that actually broke last week, that we’re catching up with…

The DirecTV satellite service has launched HD local channel service to the Youngstown market, according to a news release put out by the satellite company.

DIRECTV, Inc., the nation’s leading satellite television service provider, is now offering local HD programming to customers in the Youngstown, Ohio designated market area. The following broadcast networks are available in HD: WYTV/ABC and WFMJ/NBC. With the addition of Youngstown, DIRECTV now offers local HD broadcast channels in 91 cities, representing 81 percent of U.S. TV households.

Yes, that’s right…for whatever reason, DirecTV isn’t carrying WKBN/27, the New Vision-owned CBS affiliate. And it’s also not carrying WKBN’s sister FOX affiliate, WYFX “FOX 17/62″… though as noted here frequently, Parkin Broadcasting’s WYTV is being operated by WKBN/WYFX in a “shared services agreement” that appears not to extend to satellite carriage agreements.

DirecTV gives no indication of why WKBN/WYFX aren’t up on the bird in HD format. All four stations are carried by the satellite provider in analog/SD form, including WYFX.

WYFX, of course, has no over-the-air HD feed, since it lives on two LPTV outlets (WYFX-LP 62 Youngstown/WFXI-CA 17 Mercer PA) and as a standard definition simulcast on WKBN-DT 27.2 (give or take a major event or two – the Super Bowl, the Daytona 500 – in HD on 27.3).

But the FOX affiliate does feed HD to local cable systems via fiber, and we’re pretty sure DirecTV has carried fiber feeds in other markets in similar situations. Competitor Dish Network seems to stick with OTA feeds.

No matter – with WKBN’s HD feed not being carried by DirecTV, the difficulty would seem to be financial and legal, not technical…

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