Earlier today A+E Networks warned viewers that A+E Network, Lifetime, History, and other A+E owned channels maybe leaving DIRECTV NOW, DIRECTV, and U-Verse. AT&T and A+E Networks have until midnight Eastern on Tuesday, April 30th, 2019 to reach a new deal before the channels go dark.
“AT&T has not demonstrated a willingness to negotiate reasonably,” A+E Networks Group CEO Paul Buccieri said. “The deal we are seeking is based on the same fair market terms that have allowed us to reach deals with numerous other providers. AT&T simply has not yet demonstrated that they recognize the value of our programming and the high regard we have for our viewers – including AT&T’s own customers.”
“Having recently acquired WarnerMedia, AT&T appears intent on using their new position to gain an unfair advantage for their own channels,” Buccieri wrote. “Many, including the U.S. Department of Justice, were concerned that AT&T would have the ability and incentive to discriminate against programmers like A+E Networks and others like us. It seems that concern has become a reality.”
This news comes a few weeks after Viacom and AT&T had a similar fight. In the end, Viacom extended the deadline and a deal with AT&T was reached that avoided any blackouts. For now, we will have to wait and see if A+E will reach a similar deal to the one Viacom and AT&T reached earlier this month.
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