Effective 2:00 AM, ET today, AT&T has dropped CBS-owned television stations from the channel lineups of millions of DIRECTV, DIRECTV NOW and AT&T U-verse TV customers in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta, Tampa, Seattle, Detroit, Minneapolis, Miami, Denver, Sacramento, Pittsburgh and Baltimore and 117 CBS stations and affiliates on DIRECTV NOW. In addition, CBS Sports Network has been dropped nationally from DIRECTV and DIRECTV NOW, and Smithsonian Channel has been similarly removed from DIRECTV.
After months of negotiations, CBS is simply looking to receive fair value for its popular programming and is proposing economic terms similar to those that AT&T’s competitors have accepted in hundreds of our recent distribution agreements. The DIRECTV deal expiring tonight was signed in 2012 and is nowhere close to today’s fair market terms for CBS content – to which AT&T’s competitors have repeatedly agreed.
CBS granted an extension of its current deal with AT&T earlier this month in order to try to reach an agreement without consumers being put in the middle. We also offered a 30-day extension yesterday to work towards a fair deal for all parties – most importantly, our loyal viewers – but AT&T declined that additional extension.
While CBS has made every effort to avoid this blackout, we won’t agree to terms that undervalue our hit programming enjoyed by nearly 240 million viewers across all dayparts last season on “America’s Most-Watched Network.” Those loyal viewers are now bearing the burden for AT&T’s unwillingness to negotiate a deal that reflects the current marketplace.
This is just the latest example in AT&T’s long and clear track record of letting its consumers pay the price for its aggressive tactics to get programmers to accept below market terms. Over the last few months alone, many of AT&T’s negotiations have resulted in carriage disputes, blackouts and popular channels being removed from their services – including its current dispute with Nexstar involving 120 stations nationwide.
While we continue to negotiate in good faith and hope that AT&T agrees to fair terms soon, this loss of CBS programming could last a long time.
Viewers can visit KeepCBS.com for more information.
|Media Contacts:||Kelli Raftery||Rick McCabe|
|CBS Corporation||CBS Corporation|