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AT&T’s DIRECTV, DIRECTV NOW, & U-verse TV May Soon Lose CBS Owned Locals

man in trunk in jail suitRight now AT&T already has a fight going on with Nexstar that is almost two weeks old. This has resulted in many ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC locals going dark on DIRECTV NOW, DIRECTV, & U-verse TV. Now CBS is warning that they may also pull its CBS owned local CBS stations soon.

According to CBS AT&T is asking for unfair terms. ” AT&T, however, continues to propose unfair terms well below those agreed to by its competitors and may drop CBS unless we agree to those terms.” CBS said in a statement issued today.

AT&T issued this statement in reply to CBS warning of a possible blackout: “We’re disappointed to see CBS put our customers into the middle of negotiations. AT&T is on the side of customer choice and value and wants to keep the local CBS stations in 14 affected cities in our customers’ lineups. Our goal is always to deliver the content our customers want at a value that also makes sense to them. We continue to fight hard for that here and appreciate our customers’ patience while we work this out with CBS.”

Blackouts like this are not new and if your local CBS goes dark it will likely return but we do not know when. Again it is important to remember that these will just be CBS owned locals not all CBS local stations.

Recently AT&T donated $500,000 to Locast a streaming service that gives free access to local TV stations in many of the markets that CBS owns locals in. AT&T also added locast to DIRECTV and U-verse TV boxes. This will likely make a possible blackout easier on AT&T customers and help AT&T push for lower rates than CBS wants.

Here is the full statement from CBS on the possible blackout:

CBS Corporation, owner of America’s Most Watched Network, is negotiating resolutely and in good faith with DIRECTV, DIRECTV NOW and AT&T U-verse TV to reach a fair market value agreement for its programming.

CBS has reached timely, fair agreements with hundreds of other cable, satellite, telco and internet providers to carry our industry-leading, fan-favorite programming. AT&T, however, continues to propose unfair terms well below those agreed to by its competitors and may drop CBS unless we agree to those terms.

CBS would like to avoid being dropped, but unless an agreement is reached, our viewers should be prepared for DIRECTV and AT&T U-verse TV to remove CBS-owned television stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta, Tampa, Seattle, Detroit, Minneapolis, Miami, Denver, Sacramento, Pittsburgh and Baltimore at 11:00 PM, PT on July 19. DIRECTV NOW customers nationwide would lose the CBS Television Network’s hit programming as well.

AT&T’s willingness to deprive its customers of valuable content has become routine over the last few weeks and months, and recent negotiations have regularly resulted in carriage disputes, blackouts and popular channels being removed from their service.

For more information, go to www.KeepCBS.com.

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