Approximately 60 Tegna television stations were dropped after carriage negotiations failed to reach a new contract Tuesday evening. The old contract between the station group and the satellite and cable provider expired last month and was extended until 7 p.m. ET Tuesday.
CBS Corp. and AT&T renewed their contract on Thursday, ending a 20 day-long blackout that began when the companies’ previous, seven-year deal expired at 2:00 a.m. ET on July 19.
CBS has sent the first shot across the bow in a widely watched carriage fight with AT&T and its DirecTV, DirecTV Now and U-Verse pay-TV platforms. The media company said today that it is negotiating “resolutely and in good faith” with the AT&T units ahead of an 11 p.m. PT deadline on Friday.
Dispatch Broadcast Group’s WTHR Indianapolis (NBC) and WBNS Columbus, Ohio (CBS) are now off of DirecTV and AT&T U-verse. In a statement, Dispatch said that it “has completed numerous retransmission agreements in the past 12 months at fair market rates without any service interruption. Unfortunately, after offering an extension last Friday to hopefully reach a fair market deal, the deadline to reach a fair agreement with DirecTV and AT&T U-verse has passed, resulting in the interruption of service …. We will continue to work towards a fair agreement with DirecTV and AT&T U-verse and hope to resolve this situation as soon as possible.”
DirecTV during the second quarter added 342,000 subscribers, but the gain was offset by the loss of 391,000 subscribers at corporate sister AT&T U-verse.
Fox announced Thursday that its new national sports network — Fox Sports 1 — is set to bow Saturday with all major cable, satellite and telco TV operators, including late holdouts DirecTV, Dish Network and Time Warner Cable. FS1 will be distributed to about 90 million U.S. households, according to Fox.
The new multi-year agreement covers ABC, ESPN, WABC New York; KABC Los Angeles; WLS Chicago; KGO San Francisco; KTRK Houston; WTVD Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; KFSN Fresno-Visalia, Calif.; and a host of other services available to U-verse customers both in and out of the home.
The Consumer Electronics Show officially kicked off this morning and already pay TV and content providers have announced some new toys, services and tactics.
Allbritton Communications’ ABC affiliate in Charleston, S.C., says it hasn’t reached a retransmission consent deal with Time Warner Cable and AT&T U-verse, so after Dec. 31 the station will not be carried by their systems.
In another deal that involves cable operators joining with competitors on the local ad sales front, Comcast will represent AT&T U-verse in 20-plus markets starting in June.
AT&T — which once argued that telco competition would keep a lid on cable rates — will increase monthly pricing for U-verse TV packages by up to 10% in early 2011, its second consecutive year of hikes.
The new deal was reached two days after U-verse customers lost channels including HGTV and Food Network.
AT&T Inc’s 2.7 million U-verse television customers lost access on Friday to Scripps Networks’ popular channels like the Food Network after negotiations over programming fees collapsed.