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AT&T Reaches Another Extension With Sinclair to Avoid Blackout

Jason Gurwin

UPDATE 9/30 10:30 ET: The two sides continue to talk, with the stations remaining up during discussions.

UPDATE 9/28 10:05AM ET: No deal signed yet, stations remain up. Both sides still talking. Blackout seems unlikely at this point.

Last Friday, DIRECTV and AT&T TV NOW customers were informed that they were caught in the middle of another content dispute that could see Sinclair local channels dropped from the services. After their 5pm ET deadline had passed, we’ve confirmed that the two sides continue to negotiate past the deadline. As of now, the channels continue to broadcast live across services.

If the two sides can’t come to terms, DirecTV, AT&T U-Verse, AT&T TV, and AT&T TV NOW customers across the country saw 136 local affiliates dropped, in addition to Sinclair-owned Tennis Channel. While not all of Sinclair locals that are available on DIRECTV are on AT&T TV NOW, many locals, especially FOX affiliates are. Sinclair’s recently purchased Fox Regional Sports Network are not a part of the current deal, so they were not affected.

The latest carriage negotiation comes after CBS nationally was dropped in major markets on DirecTV and nationally on DIRECTV NOW (now known as AT&T TV NOW). Prior to that, Nexstar, the largest local affiliate owner, had their channels dropped DirecTV, DIRECTV NOW, and AT&T U-Verse. While both sides ultimately came to a deal, the disputes lasted multiple weeks leaving customers without locals.

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