After a week of public statements from CBS and AT&T pointing fingers at each other earlier this morning CBS owned locals went dark on DIRECTV, DIRECTV NOW, and U-verse TV. This comes and Nexstar owned locals are also still dark on AT&T’s TV services.
Update: CBS Sports & The Smithsonian Channel have also been dropped. You can learn more about this change HERE.
Update: AT&T sent Cord Cutters News this statement about the blackout: “CBS has put our customers into the middle of its negotiations by pulling its local CBS stations in 14 cities. We were willing to continue to negotiate and also offered to pay CBS an unprecedented rate increase. That increase would present CBS the highest fee we currently pay to any major broadcast network group, despite the fact that CBS stations are available free over the air.”
In a statement sent to Cord Cutters News by AT&T, they blame CBS for the possible blackout:
“[AT&T] have offered to pay CBS an unprecedented rate increase and the highest fee we currently pay to any major broadcast network group. CBS has refused. We also asked CBS to allow us to sell its CBS All Access streaming service. Again, CBS refused even though CBS already allows our competitors like Roku and Amazon to market that stand-alone offering. The reason for CBS’ refusal is because CBS and other companies that own local CBS affiliates – such as Nexstar, Tribune and Sinclair – want to limit customers’ choices so broadcasters can keep using blackouts to cut off consumer access and inflate their fees. Either way, consumers lose.” AT&T said in a statement sent to Cord Cutters News.
“Given these factors, it’s become clear to us that CBS is intent on blacking out any home that chooses to receive cable or satellite service to up-sell CBS All Access subscriptions,” AT&T said. statement.
CBS is pointing the finger at AT&T saying: “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.”
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.
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.
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