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AT&T, Rainbow reach agreement on channels

AMC, IFC, WE TV stay on U-Verse

AT&T and Rainbow Media reached an agreement Thursday to renew their carriage contract and keep AMC, IFC and WE TV available on U-Verse.

The agreement came less than 24 hours after the expiration of their previous contract, which threatened to take the channels away from U-Verse’s 2.3 million subscribers.

After several days of acrimonious press releases, signs of a thaw between AT&T and Cablevision-owned Rainbow appeared Wednesday. The public sparring stopped, and AT&T kept the Rainbow channels on the air even after their contract lapsed at 9 p.m. Pacific.

Most of the attention on this split has focused on whether U-Verse viewers would miss seeing the fourth season premiere of AMC’s “Mad Men” on July 25. But along with WE, the potential loss of IFC, which has been revving up its original programming (particularly in comedy) was of concern to U-Verse subscribers. Last fall and winter, DirecTV customers were left without sports network Versus for six months.

U-Verse still doesn’t carry the MLB Network, among other offerings.

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