Nexstar Disputes AT&T Retrans Claims

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.

Nexstar Media Group on Thursday issued a statement that it said was designed to “set the record straight … with legislators, regulators, consumers and others related to ongoing negotiations between the parties on a distribution agreement that will allow AT&T to continue to offer Nexstar’s highly rated network and local community programming to its subscribers.”

Nexstar said “the misinformation campaign began when AT&T indicated that ‘Nexstar pulled 120 of its local broadcast stations….’ Nexstar did not pull its stations or ask for their removal from AT&T’s DirecTV, U-verse or DirecTV NOW platforms. Rather, Nexstar’s offer for a 30-day extension would have allowed consumers in the affected markets to continue viewing their favorite network shows, special events, sports, local news and other programming while the parties continue negotiations.”

Nexstar said that AT&T in its “External Fact Sheet” and in communications to elected officials, “erroneously asserts that Nexstar has been involved in blackouts with Cox Cable, Dish Network, Charter Spectrum ‘and others’ when in fact Nexstar has never had Dish Network or Charter Spectrum remove its stations from their consumer video offerings.”

Nexstar said it has a long-term record of completing hundreds of agreements with multichannel video programming distributors for the carriage of its television stations and “is proud that it has never, in its 23-year history, had a service interruption related to distribution agreements of the magnitude of the AT&T/DirecTV interruption. Over the past 20 months alone, Nexstar has successfully renewed more than 390 distribution agreements with cable providers for the carriage of Nexstar’s stations, including a new agreement with Cox.”

In contrast, Nexstar said, following its 2015 acquisition by AT&T, DirecTV has been “routinely involved in disputes with content providers and has dropped or threatened to black out network and local community programming from Viacom, SJL Broadcasting/Lilly Broadcasting, and others.”

AT&T, Nexstar said, also failed to mention that between May 30, 2019, and June 10, 2019, alone, “AT&T/ DirecTV customers lost access to the network and local content of at least 20 other non-Nexstar stations due to its failure to reach fair agreements with 10 other broadcasters. At this time, AT&T has disputes with broadcasters and dropped local broadcast stations from several station operators (including Deerfield Media, MPS Media, GoCom Media of Illinois, Howard Stirk Holdings, Roberts Media, Second Generation of Iowa, Waitt Broadcasting, Mercury Media Group, Northwest Broadcasting and Nexstar), resulting in concentrated blackouts of local programming and service for its customers in 13 U.S. markets.”

BRAND CONNECTIONS

Nexstar said that it “wants nothing more than to bring its programming back to viewers by completing a new fair market agreement with AT&T and continues to negotiate in good faith to establish a mutually agreeable contract with DirecTV. Nexstar has offered AT&T/ DirecTV the same rates it offered to other large distribution partners with whom it completed successful negotiations with in 2019 to date.

“Nexstar remains hopeful that a resolution can be reached immediately, but should AT&T fail to come to terms with Nexstar, Nexstar intends to continue to actively educate consumers in affected markets on how they can continue to receive their favorite network programming, in-depth local news, other content and programming relevant to their communities, and critical updates in times of emergencies. AT&T’s attempts to disparage Nexstar will not be tolerated and their misguided efforts to fool their viewers as well as legislators and regulators, the investment community and the public at-large warranted a response.”


Comments (5)

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tvn-member-3628948 says:

July 11, 2019 at 4:49 pm

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    Insider says:

    July 11, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    Well, if anyone spins the truth, it’s @TEDatACA. Follow me @NotTEDatACA

      Stop_RIDGELINETV says:

      July 11, 2019 at 8:18 pm

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        Insider says:

        July 12, 2019 at 1:58 pm

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        Easy….He’s awake.

          Stop_RIDGELINETV says:

          July 12, 2019 at 5:20 pm

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