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DirecTV and AT&T TV Drop Cox Media Group Locals After Carriage Dispute

Jason Gurwin

DirecTV and AT&T TV customers are now without 23 Cox Media Group locals after the two sides failed to reach a deal by last night’s midnight deadline.

The carriage dispute affects AT&T customers who currently receive one of the 23 Cox Media Group stations in markets like Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Jacksonville, Orlando, Pittsburgh, and Seattle. These include those that were previously owned by Northwest Broadcasting, as first spotted by Phil Swann

On AT&T’s TV Promise website, the company says:

We’re disappointed Cox Media Group has intentionally put you into the middle of a private business matter. We want to get (your local affiliate) back into your local lineups, but Cox Media Group alone has exclusive control over which homes are allowed to receive (your local affiliate) and any (of those) programs in (your market).

DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse customers (who are generally under contract) are being offered an adjustment to their bill. According to AT&T, “online credits are not available” for AT&T TV and AT&T TV NOW.

For those in Seattle and Dayton who lost their local CBS affiliate, which will broadcast the Super Bowl on Sunday, you can still watch on CBS All Access or CBS Sports App.

In a statment, Cox Media Group said:

We cannot force AT&T/DIRECTV to keep retransmitting our station – we are dark because AT&T/DIRECTV has chosen to remove WSB-TV from its service. We are hopeful that AT&T/DIRECTV will abandon its blackout of our station to the detriment of viewers in favor of meaningful negotiations that lead to a mutually beneficial deal for all parties.

During these times of uncertainty, it is more important than ever that our viewers know their trusted local stations are there for them, providing the news and information they need to make critical decisions for their families. CMG stations take pride in being trustworthy resources for our communities, and we will fight to continue to fulfill this responsibility.

This is the second major dispute in as many months for AT&T. In December, AT&T lost TEGNA-owned locals in 60+ markets after failing to reach a deal. The two sides were able to reach a deal less than three weeks later.

Impacted Cox Media Locals

  • WSB-TV (ABC), Atlanta
  • WFXT-TV (Fox), Boston
  • WSOC-TV (ABC), Charlotte
  • WAXN-TV (Independent), Charlotte
  • WHIO-TV (CBS), Dayton
  • WFOX-TV (Fox), Jacksonville
  • WFOX2-TV (MyNetworkTV), Jacksonville
  • WHBQ-TV (Fox), Memphis
  • WFTV-TV (ABC), Orlando
  • WRDQ-TV (IND), Orlando
  • WPXI-TV (NBC), Pittsburgh
  • KIRO-TV (CBS), Seattle
  • KOKI-TV (Fox), Tulsa
  • KMYT-TV (MyNetworkTV), Tulsa
  • KVIQ (CBS), Eureka
  • KIEM (NBC), Eureka
  • KPVI (NBC), Idaho Falls
  • KVMU (FOX), Medford
  • KFBI (MyNetworkTV), Medford
  • KAYU (FOX), Spokane
  • KFFX (FOX), Yakima
  • KYMA (CBS/NBC), Yuma

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