AT&T Feud Means CBS Affiliates May Disappear From DirecTV, DIRECTV NOW, & AT&T U-Verse on Friday
Another week, another carriage dispute for AT&T. Last night, AT&T and CBS shared that if a deal is not struck by 11pm PT on Friday, July 19th — DIRECTV NOW, DirecTV, and AT&T U-Verse customers in the 17 markets with CBS-owned local affiliates will lose CBS from their service.
The markets affected include New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta, Tampa, Seattle, Detroit, Minneapolis, Miami, Denver, Sacramento, Pittsburgh and Baltimore.
The latest dispute comes just weeks after Nexstar, the largest local affiliate owner, had their channels removed from DirecTV, DIRECTV NOW, and AT&T U-Verse.
AT&T shared the following message on the the dispute:
“We are fighting on behalf of our customers in these negotiations with broadcast station owners and national networks,” the company maintained. “Customers today are demanding more value from their TV offerings. We must convince companies like CBS and Nexstar to accept the same call to action that our own TV customers have made clear.”
CBS, in their own statement, shared the following:
“AT&T’s willingness to deprive its customers of valuable content has become routine over the last few weeks and months, and recent negotiations have regularly resulted in carriage disputes, blackouts and popular channels being removed from their service”
This is the fifth major carriage dispute for AT&T in as many months — including with smaller station owners Northwest Broadcasting, Deerfield Media, Roberts Media, Second Generation of Iowa, GoCom Media, MPS Media, Howard Stirk Holding, and Waitt Broadcasting. The service recently renegotiated deals with Viacom and A+E, while dropping NFL Network
It is unlikely that the channels would disappear forever, but it is not unheard for local channel disputes to last multiple months. Last year, PlayStation Vue and Sinclair Media Group were in an extended battle that saw many locals dropped from the service, only to return a few months later.
Fortunately customers still have options. CBS is one of the few channels that offer their local affiliate live through their own service CBS All Access which is available for $5.99 after a 7-Day Free Trial.