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DirecTV and AT&T TV May Lose Cox Media Group Locals in Carriage Dispute

Jason Gurwin

DirecTV and AT&T TV customers may soon be without 14 Cox Media Group locals starting next week. The two sides have to reach a deal by 11:59pm on February 1st to avoid a blackout.

The carriage dispute would affect AT&T customers who currently receive one of the 14 Cox Media Group stations in markets like Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Jacksonville, Orlando, Pittsburgh, and Seattle.

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

We’re disappointed to see Cox Media Group put our customers into the middle of a private business matter. We want to keep (your local affiliate) in their local lineups, but Cox alone has exclusive control over which homes are allowed to receive (your local affiliate) and any CBS programs.

Cox-owned stations have a long history of either threatening or pulling the Super Bowl and other important events from Buckland Telephone Co., CableOne, Charter Spectrum, DISH Network, Frontier Communications, Suddenlink, Verizon Fios and our own customers.

Broadcasters like Cox gin up these contrived blackouts at the precise time it hurts their viewers most, extract higher fees, and then use their own news outlets to try to mislead people and skirt any accountability. We continue to work with Cox to try to avoid any unnecessary disruption and appreciate our customers’ patience while we do.

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
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