Tribune, DirecTV reach deal

Our long national nightmare is over.

Tribune Broadcasting reached a deal with DirecTV to resume their programming on their systems this evening, just four days after Tribune pulled their signals from the service.

The deal comes as the Chicago Cubs season opener begins tomorrow, which will be televised on WGN-TV and WGN America, two of Tribune’s 24 outlets affected by the impasse.

According to Deadline Hollywood, the new pact between Tribune and DirecTV runs for five years, but financial terms were not disclosed (but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out your cable bill could rise as a result.) According to the article, a DirecTV executive was quoted as saying that the deal were similar to the deal Tribune allegedly agreed to on March 29.

Tribune claimed they didn’t agree to such a deal, and as a result, the company’s television stations and WGN America cable network were yanked from DirecTV, causing viewers to miss fare ranging from CW programming in Chicago, New York, St. Louis, Indianapolis, and Los Angeles, to Fox programming in Indianapolis, Seattle, and Grand Rapids, Mich., and syndicated fare such as Maury, Jerry Springer, Two And A Half Men, and Live With Kelly in various markets.

Meanwhile, ratings for CW fare for Monday and Tuesday nights didn’t seem to be affected by the DirecTV blackout. Then again, CW’s ratings are ultra-low to begin with, so any difference wasn’t really noticeable.

So while Tribune stations are back on DirecTV, don’t celebrate too much – the next retrans impasse between a broadcaster and a cable/satellite provider may be just around the corner… if fact, it may be here sooner than you think.