The multi-year deal, which covers DirecTV, AT&T TV and U-verse, ends a nearly two-month impasse. Terms were not disclosed.
The Walt Disney Co. and Dish Network appear to have avoided a blackout of the FX and National Geographic channels that could have started at midnight ET Tuesday. Sources indicated that the deadline was postponed and that negotiations have become productive.
Disney has started advising Dish subscribers of a looming contract deadline with FX and National Geographic, which could go dark on the satellite system. The two companies had previously negotiated past a contract deadline in July, citing progress in the talks as the signals remained active on the satellite system. The current deadline is 9 p.m. PT today.
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.
Charter and Disney have reached a multiyear carriage agreement, avoiding a blackout of networks including ESPN and ABC. Charter has agreed to carry the ACC Network, a new network in the ESPN family, as part of the deal.
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.
Disney and Charter are still discussing a new multiyear carriage agreement, blowing past Friday’s 12:01 a.m. deadline, as the two sides try to reach a deal, according to people familiar with the matter.
The broadcasters aim to shut down the digital app service that has attracted tens of thousands of users and is threatening billions of dollars in retransmission contracts.
As expected, the ongoing impasse between CBS and AT&T is wreaking havoc on WBBM’s already low ratings. The blackout of CBS 2 on DirecTV, DirecTV Now and U-verse cable systems appears to have cost the CBS-owned station more than a quarter of its viewership.
As an impasse with AT&T continues into a second week, CBS Corp. has reached a carriage deal with Altice USA, a major cable provider. The new deal covers retransmission consent for CBS-owned stations and the carriage of Showtime, CBS Sports Network, Pop TV and Smithsonian Channel on the Optimum and Suddenlink cable systems run by Altice. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Retrans battles are known for their gamesmanship, but Nexstar’s characterization of some of the Hill pushback on the ongoing retrans impasse with AT&T’s DirecTV drew the ire of one local paper, some MVPD fans, and, ultimately, some corrections.
The stations group has 16 stations pulled off the satellite service.
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.
Executives from AT&T and Nexstar Media Group met over the weekend, but the nearly two-week long blackout of about 120 stations continues. The talks continue but there has been no agreement yet, according to an AT&T spokesperson. Negotiations will continue this week, a Nexstar spokesman added.
Disney is set to renew its multiyear carriage agreement with Charter, the second-largest U.S. pay TV provider, at the beginning of August, according to people familiar with the matter. So far, there are no signs the two sides will have a testy public renegotiation.
The American Television Alliance (ATVA) is using the Nextar/DirecTV retrans impasse to pitch Congress on renewing STELAR, the satellite license law that also includes requiring the FCC to enforce good faith negotiations in retrans disputes.
If Dish and Meredith fail to reach an agreement, 16 Meredith-owned stations’ programming will not be available on Dish systems as of 7 p.m. ET on July 15.
AT&T is looking to make sure local viewers have access to emergency weather information, and at the same time remove an issue raised by a U.S. senator from weather-plagued Louisiana related to an ongoing carriage impasse with Nexstar.
It looks like AT&T’s DirecTV and Uverse customers will have to wait at least another day for the possible resolution of the week-long retransmission consent battle between the pay TV giant and Nexstar Media Group.
AT&T has sued Max Retrans, a consultant that works with TV stations negotiating with distributors, claiming it used confidential data to get higher fees for its clients. In U.S. Court in St. Louis, AT&T said it is seeking an unspecified amount of damages, including inflated retransmission consent fees, punitive damages, attorney’s fees and court costs.
The broadcaster says AT&T/DirecTV’s actions contrast sharply with its public commentary and cites eight broadcast groups currently without carriage resulting in a loss of service to consumers in 13 U.S. markets.
With the financial pressure on system operators, pitted against need for broadcasters to eventually achieve parity with the most-watched cable networks, retrans fights and blackouts are bound to sometimes happen. The sad reality is that in the short term everyone loses. Viewers lose their favorite programs, stations lose news viewers, DirecTV loses subscribers and station general managers lose their minds.
Legislators continued to turn up the heat in the ongoing retransmission consent battle between DirecTV and Nexstar Media Group, with representatives from seven states joining Sen. Richard Blumenthal on Tuesday in sending letters to DirecTV parent AT&T urging for an end to the blackout as it entered its fifth day.
Many DirecTV and AT&T U-verse subs awoke Thursday to find that Nexstar stations were no longer available. The broadcaster claims the stations were “abruptly removed” by the distributor, while AT&T said it had hoped to prevent a blackout and “even offered Nexstar more money to keep their stations available.”
ACA Connects says Gray Television’s contractual prohibition on granting carriage of a TV station to MVPD C Spire Fiber makes a mockery of the FCC’s good faith retransmission consent negotiations and market modification process. That came in comments to the FCC on C Spire’s retrans complaint and request for declaratory ruling.
On behalf of DirecTV, DirecTV Now or U-Verse, AT&T has filed a complaint against nine TV station owners who it says have collectively “pulled” 20 stations from those services on May 30 and June 10, blackouts it says continued at press time “with no end in sight.” AT&T said all the stations have shared services agreements with Sinclair, which it says appears to “manage and control” the stations, but it did not target that broadcaster in the complaint.
According to a recent research note, Charter has struck a retrans deal for renewal of Sinclair TV stations that includes the Fox RSNs. Charter declined to comment, but a recent Wolfe Research note declared, “CHTR renewing the Fox RSNs for a ‘slight increase’ is a nice little positive.”
The retransmission agreement with AT&T/DirecTV to carry the stations recently expired and after several extensions AT&T/DirecTV and the station were not able to reach an agreement that allows for further carriage.
Telepak Networks (C Spire Fiber) has filed a retransmission consent complaint against Gray Television at the FCC alleging lack of good faith bargaining, and has asked for a declaratory ruling that when the FCC modifies a market to add communities served by a significantly viewed station, then that station’s digital streams are also considered to be in that market for the purposes of retrans negotiations.
The second-ranking House Republican and a key Democrat say they’ll push to end broadcasters’ ability to black out signals during negotiations with cable and satellite service providers.
Republican Whip Steve Scalise and senior Energy and Commerce Committee member Anna Eshoo said Monday they will unveil a bill in the coming weeks. It’s likely to set off a fierce lobbying battle between broadcasters, which would lose negotiating leverage, and cable providers, which stand to benefit.
DirecTV is locked in a retransmission consent dispute with 17 small TV stations in 14 markets across the country that have gone dark to the satellite TV giant after attempts to hammer out a deal failed.
There is every reason to believe advertising will continue to be the lifeblood of television, but the continuing growth of retransmission consent should remind us that future opportunities are unlimited.
Broadcasters have more friends in high places, as in on The Hill, for their effort to sunset the satellite distant signal license, though that is itself a high hill to climb. “It is clear that the distant signal license has outlived its usefulness,” said Rep. Jared Golden in a letter to the leadership of the House Energy & Commerce and Judiciary Committees, which together will consider how and whether to renew the STELAR Act.
The new Fox Corp. will be looking to boost its retransmission payments and subscriber fees from cable and satellite operators. “We plan to meaningfully accelerate or growth of both direct retransmission and non-O&O revenue,” said Fox COO John Nallen, speaking at the new company’s first investor day Thursday.
Liberty Puerto Rico and NBCUniversal Media said they reached an agreement that ends a weekend blackout of the local Telemundo station and 13 cable channels. The two companies said they were able to reach “a reasonable commercial agreement” that will return the NBCU content to Liberty customers on the island.
NBCUniversal has begun warning viewers in Puerto Rico that subscribers of Liberty Cablevision might lose access to the local Telemundo station and NBC’s cable networks at 6 p.m. ET Thursday.
Broadcasters and satellite operators are at odds over who would be burdening whom under a new carriage election proposal the FCC is considering. The NAB and NCTA have joined in proposing changes to the carriage election — must carry or retrans — process, which the FCC is looking to streamline as part of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s deregulatory weed-whacking initiative.
After negotiating throughout the weekend, AT&T and Viacom announced Monday morning that they had reached an agreement to renew their carriage agreement. Details of the deal were not immediately available.
DOJ antitrust chief Makan Delrahim slots the event for May 2-3 and says the event may result in Justice changing how it looks not only at mergers, but also at spot advertising and retrans.
NCTA-The Internet & Television Association said the FCC will need to put conditions on the merger of Nexstar and Tribune, otherwise the deal runs a ” material risk of consumer and competitive harm.” NCTA is primarily concerned about the impact of the merged broadcast group on retrans rates.