Nexstar announced today that one of their networks, WGN America, will be joining YouTube TV beginning January 19, 2021. The carriage agreement puts WGN America will add another 3 million subscribers to their 75 million cable and streaming footprint. WGN America is the home of NewsNation, the country’s only live nationwide newscast airing in prime-time every night.
“We are extremely happy to have WGN America joining YouTube TV and we expect to continue the strategic expansion of WGN America to even more viewers in the months ahead,” said Sean Compton, President of the Networks Division of Nexstar Inc. “We look forward to bringing WGN America’s programming and NewsNation’s fact-based, unbiased reporting to YouTube TV subscribers, including coverage of the Presidential inauguration, which takes place just after our partnership begins.”
The new agreement comes at a time where Nexstar is involved in several carriage disputes. Last week, news came out revealing that Dish customers may soon be without Nexstar locals in 120 markets. In a statement, Dish said that they will soon lose 164 Nexstar locals if the two sides can’t reach a deal by Dec. 2. At the center of the dispute is the continual increase of affiliate transmission fees, in addition to Nexstar requiring Dish to carry WGN America.
This follows two other disputes. In October, [Hulu + Live TV] lost Nexstar ABC affiliates on the service. The dispute affects 20+ Nexstar-owned ABC affiliates across the country including in Nashville (WKRN), Hartford (WTNH), Grand Rapids (WOTV), Harrisburg (WHTM), New Orleans (WGNO), and Richmond (WRIC).
Fortunately, in those markets, Hulu replaced the local affiliate with a national ABC feed. So while customers lost local news and syndicated shows, they still get primetime programming and live national sports like college football.
In September, fuboTV alerted customers that as a result of a carriage dispute, Nexstar-owned CBS stations have been dropped from the service.
In the message to customers, fuboTV said: “Unfortunately, Nexstar Media Group who owns your local CBS affiliate has decided not to extend its agreement with fuboTV at this time. We are continuing to work to bring your CBS affiliate back.”