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Deal reached in Tribune Broadcasting contract dispute

Louisiana DirecTV subscribers may regain access to some channels that are currently blocked resulting from a contract dispute. Tribune Broadcasting and DirecTV reached a deal regarding the contract dispute over the compensation that Tribune Broadcasting would receive from allowing DirecTV to carry their content.

The dispute centered on a supposed handshake deal between the two organizations that would allow DirecTV to continue offering Tribune stations. Yet Tribune Broadcasting then pulled the channels. This resulted in DirecTV filing a complaint with the FCC.

Tribune Broadcasting denies having agreed to allow DirecTV to continue carrying their channels. They argued that they did not breach a contract nor violate contract terms because no contract exists on paper and no handshake deal was accepted.

The details of the agreement were not immediately disclosed, but Tribune stations, including Louisiana's own WGNO and NOLA38, became available to DirecTV subscribers last night.

In most instances of contract disputes, damages are awarded to the party that became the victim of another business failing to meet their contractual obligations. The purpose of these damages is largely to compensate the business in an attempt to undo the harm caused by the other business's negligence. Punitive damages, meant to punish the offender, are rarely used but are an option in these cases.

If the company in question is found not to have breached the contract, they can sue for restitution with the goal of restoring the business to their pre-litigation position.

The complexities of contract disputes oftentimes necessitate that businesses seek experienced business lawyers to handle the legal elements of the disputes.

Source: Advertisement Journal, "DirecTV Can't Reach Agreement with Tribune, Complains to FCC," April 6, 2012

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