At 2 a.m. EDT Saturday, the current contract between AT&T and CBS is set to expire, meaning some CBS-owned stations could go black.
“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,” the CBS statement said. “DIRECTV NOW customers nationwide would lose the CBS Television Network’s hit programming as well.”
AT&T, the largest pay TV provider in the U.S., with 24.5 million subscribers, said in its statement that it is “fighting on behalf of our customers in these negotiations with broadcast station owners and national networks.”
AT&T DirecTV and Nexstar dispute: Nexstar channels on DirecTV, U-verse dark since late July 3
Some AT&T customers lost access to Nexstar stations in 97 markets at 11:59 p.m. local time July 3. The stations, which include ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC affiliate stations, are still dark.
“We must convince companies like CBS and Nexstar to accept the same call to action that our own TV customers have made clear,” AT&T’s statement said. “Make no mistake. We want the CBS owned-and-operated and Nexstar local stations in our lineups, and their multimillion dollar misinformation campaigns are a waste of everyone’s time, patience and frayed loyalties.”
CBS has made a website at www.keepcbs.com about the possible outage and is urging customers to “take action” by contacting AT&T. The outage also could affect some CBS-owned The CW television stations.
Not every CBS or CW station is at risk for being blacked out for AT&T customers.
Disputes between content providers and cable and satellite providers are common as companies try to negotiate new deals.
Sometimes the negotiations are extended to allow the parties to reach an agreement. In many situations, the stations don’t go black.
While both parties say they are looking for a resolution, there have been an increase in blackouts.