Today Northwest Broadcasting and AT&T announced a deal to end an almost 8-month long blackout. With this deal, AT&T has agreed to re-add 18 ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC stations that are owned by Northwest Broadcasting to DIRECTV, U-verse, and AT&T TV NOW. AT&T has also reached a deal with GoCom to re-add one station.
AT&T has warned that blackouts like the one with Northwest Broadcasting may become more common as it tries to keep costs low. In a statement to investors back in September AT&T’s CEO said:
“Coming into the year, [AT&T] expected some tough content negotiations, specifically for retransmission deals. Stephens said the company has been holding a hard line in negotiations, which is allowing it to achieve its content cost management goals. In the third quarter, Stephens said the company expects an incremental 300,000 to 350,000 premium video losses above the previous quarter’s premium video results, driven by: aggressively managing costs with retransmission negotiations, some of which resulted in content provider black outs; and from limiting promotional pricing.”
AT&T still has several possible blackouts in the works including a possible one with Sinclair. Right now Sinclair and AT&T have reached a short term extension to keep Sinclair owned locals on AT&T TV NOW and DIRECTV but no long term deal has been reached. Hopefully, a deal can be reached to avoid a possible blackout.
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