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CBS and AT&T Reach New Agreement, Affected Stations to Return to DirecTV & DIRECTV NOW After Nearly A Month of Blackouts

Stephanie Sengwe

After weeks of tough negotiations and major blackouts on CBS-affiliated networks across the nation, CBS and AT&T have finally reached a new carriage agreement after going dark on July 20th.

In a joint statement, CBS and AT&T announced that stations are returning today to any impacted AT&T homes. CBS local affiliates previously available on DIRECTV NOW will also return to those streaming lineups. CBS Sports Network will be returning to DIRECTV and DIRECTV NOW and the Smithsonian Channel will be returning to DIRECTV.

The agreement includes retransmission consent for all 26 CBS-owned stations in 17 markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta, Tampa, Seattle, Detroit, Minneapolis, Miami, Denver, Sacramento, Pittsburgh and Baltimore.

Last month, CBS went dark in 17 markets on DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse and nationally on DIRECTV NOW. Additionally, CBS Sports Network was dropped from DirecTV and for legacy DIRECTV NOW subscribers, while Smithsonian Channel was removed from DirecTV.

The channels have already gone live in many major markets, with others including CBS Sports Network expected to return over the course of the day.

While AT&T has resolved its negotiations with CBS, the company is still in a dispute with Nexstar, which currently owns ~175 local stations. On their Second Quarter earnings call, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson seemed optimistic about a deal with CBS, but said a deal with Nexstar “could take a while.” For AT&T, they also have an upcoming renewal with Sinclair, which could be the next major local carriage dispute.

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