Moving forward in distribution talks, TV giants DirecTV and Nexstar Media Group agreed to restore signals from Nexstar’s broadcast stations into the homes of DirecTV customers, ending a bitter blackout that lasted 76 days.

The nationwide blackout of 159 Nexstar-owned stations, including affiliates of the ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and CW networks, affected DirecTV products, including satellite television service U-verse and DirecTV Stream. Nexstar’s KTLA-TV Channel 5 was also affected by the blackout for DirecTV and U-verse customers that began July 2.

The two companies announced the truce early Sunday as they faced the prospect of angering football fans in anticipation of the second weekend of the NFL season.

Thousands of football viewers in Indianapolis were eager to miss the Colts’ game against the Houston Texans on Fox. In Fresno and Buffalo, New York, some viewers would not have had access to CBS’ coverage of the Buffalo Bills and Las Vegas game. Vegas Raiders. And some fans in Sacramento, San Diego and Honolulu would have missed watching the Rams take on the San Francisco 49ers in Los Angeles on Fox affiliates.

“In recognition and gratitude for the continued patience of DirecTV customers and Nexstar viewers, the companies have agreed to temporarily return signals from Nexstar-owned television stations and the national cable news network NewsNation to DirecTV, DirecTV Stream and “U-verse while both work to complete the terms of an agreement,” the two companies said Sunday in a statement.

Nexstar, headquartered in Irving, Texas, is the largest television station group in the country. He acquired Tribune Media station portfolioincluding KTLA and WGN, almost five years ago.

Cable news network NewsNation was also part of the outage, as were about 30 television stations run by Nexstar but owned by Mission Broadcasting and White Knight Broadcasting.

In July, DirecTV was forced to remove the Nexstar channels from its satellite television service, as well as DirecTV Stream and U-verse because the El Segundo-based company no longer had legal authorization to retransmit signals from the Nexstar station. DirecTV crews worked Sunday to restore signals after Nexstar granted its permission.

The move comes less than a week after the Walt Disney Co. and Charter Communications reached new agreement, ending a high-profile 10-day blackout of Disney channels, including ESPN and KABC-TV Channel 7 in Los Angeles, on Charter Spectrum’s television service. That blackout disrupted millions of fans’ viewing of the U.S. Open tennis championships and college football on ESPN.

Channel blackouts have have become increasingly common in recent years as distributors of television channels, including DirecTV, Charter Spectrum, Cox Cable and Comcast’s Xfinity, struggles to maintain cost control instead of passing on steep increases to customers in the form of higher bills.

DirecTV and other pay TV distributors have lost millions of customers cable cutting in the last decade and do not want to encourage the flight of additional subscribers.

“The video ecosystem is broken,” Charter Communications CEO Christopher Winfrey told analysts earlier this month.

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Xavier Smith (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

The truce will allow DirecTV customers in some cities to watch the Los Angeles Rams, including wide receiver Xavier Smith (19), play the San Francisco 49ers on Fox.

(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

Such concerns led Charter to initially oppose Disney’s fee increases during distribution contract negotiations late last month.

That outage on Spectrum, which affected millions of customers in New York and Los Angeles, was resolved after Disney compromised by allowing Charter to remove eight Disney cable channels, including Freeform, from its programming.

Television station owners, including Nexstar, have been seeking rate increases as the cost of programming, particularly NFL football and other sports, soars. Programmers are also grappling with a drop in ratings and lower penetration of pay TV into households, resulting in less revenue generated by stations. The television advertising market has also shown signs of weakness.

Broadcast television ratings have decreased almost 50% since a decade ago.

Financial problems led Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger to suggest that Disney could sell its ABC television network and its owned stations.

At the end of last week, Media outlets, including The Times, reported that Disney has received preliminary interest from potential buyers, including Nexstar.

Disney tried to stem speculation that it was close to a deal.

“While we are open to considering a variety of strategic options for our linear businesses, at this time Walt Disney Co. has not made any decisions regarding the sale of ABC or any other properties,” Disney said in a statement Thursday.

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