After failing to come to an agreement to keep Tegna-owned local channels on AT&T’s DirecTV, U-Verse, and AT&T TV, AT&T dropped the local stations from its services.
Before the channels were dropped, AT&T shared a statement with customers on its website, saying “As many station owners like TEGNA keep losing viewers and sponsors, they’ve resorted to blacking out popular local teams or any remaining hit shows at the worst possible time in order to extract unwarranted increases over their already high fees despite their fading popularity, leaving consumers to foot the bill.”
Tegna has now responded to the decision to drop the channels. A statement sent to Cord Cutters News says, “We are continuing to work hard to reach a fair, market-based agreement with AT&T. We are committed to getting our stations back on AT&T’s systems as soon as possible. Our viewers shouldn’t miss another weekend of NCAA and NFL football, not to mention their local news, weather and sports updates and their favorite network programming. The solution to this situation is a fair deal based on the market. If AT&T is willing to negotiate in good faith, we are confident we can get a deal done quickly.”
These disputes have been common in the past few months as contracts expire and broadcasters ask for increased rates from TV providers who aren’t willing to pay the higher prices.