AT&T, which paid $49 billion to acquire DirecTV in 2015, has faced increasing pressure from investors to get the satellite distributor on a more promising path. This week, the notion that the companies could part ways has gained currency.
After lengthy blackouts of CBS and Nexstar stations, plus the impact of price increases, AT&T expects to lose about 300,000 to 350,000 subscribers in the quarter, CFO John Stephens said Wednesday.
If the companies are unable to reach a new agreement, DirecTV subscribers could lose access to ABC, ESPN, Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Freeform.
DirectTV and Cowles have reached an impasse in their retransmission consent negotiations, resulting on DirecTV dropping Cowles’ NBC affiliate KHQ Spokane and its satellites serviving Yahima and Richland and four Montana stations — NBC affiliate KULR Billings, ABC affiliate KWYB Butte, ABC affiliate KFBB Great Falls and ABC affiilate KTMF Missoula, according to the stations’ websites. Their last retrans agreement expired in June.
The multi-year deal, which covers DirecTV, AT&T TV and U-verse, ends a nearly two-month impasse. Terms were not disclosed.
Hank Price: That crucial point in the long-running retrans standoff will come Sept. 5, the day the regular NFL season kicks off on NBC. If there is one thing that will cause consumers to change providers, it is the loss of NFL football. Should that happen, it will be a boon to the cable light OTT services. And the stakes are just as high for Nexstar since the NFL is a very specific advertising buy.
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.
How does Locast think it can get away with retransmitting broadcast signals to smartphones and smart TVs without compensating broadcasters? By claiming to be a nonprofit. But I expect that a federal judge will see through that fiction and find that it is nothing more than a front for Dish and AT&T’s DirecTV.
The network reported a “dramatic spike in new subscribers” to its CBS All Access streaming service last weekend, compared with the same weekend in 2018. It didn’t say it was due to the retrans impasse that has blackout out CBS stations on AT&T’s DirecTV, DirecTV Now and U-Verse, but strongly implied it was in a press release. The release also contains other CBS talking points, including that AT&T has dropped 178 stations in 120 markets in 2019 because of its retrans recalcitrance.