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Vikings game will be on DirectTV

FARGO - An agreement has been reached that eliminates any threat of Saturday's playoff football game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers being blacked out to metro DirecTV subscribers.

That's according to Tom Tyrer, a spokesman for DirecTV, which has been in contract talks with Dallas-based Hoak Media, which owns the local NBC affiliate, KVLY, and controls through a management agreement the local CBS affiliate, KXJB.

The Vikings football game is scheduled to air at 7 p.m. Saturday on NBC.

The negotiations involve retransmission fees, which cable and satellite providers pay to local stations for the right to retransmit their signal.

KVLY/KXJB requested higher fees from DirecTV to better represent the number of viewers who tune in to the major networks, according to information provided last week by Sean Kelly, operations manager for the stations.

A message left for Kelly on Monday seeking comment on what Tyrer called "an agreement in principle" was not returned.

DirecTV has about 30,000 subscribers in the area.

If a contract agreement had not been reached by today, there was the potential for DirecTV to lose KVLY/KXJB's signal, similar to what happened in June, when KVLY/KXJB services were cut for DISH Network subscribers over contract disagreements.

It is not uncommon in such situations for the different sides involved to blame each other when a blackout or the threat of a blackout arises.

Officials from DirecTV said in a statement last week that only the local networks have the power to pull channels during such disputes.

A spokesman for KVLY/KXJB disputed that statement.