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CBS, AT&T Strike New Carriage Deal, Ending Blackout

CBS and AT&T came to new terms on carriage of CBS stations on the telecommunications giant’s DirecTV satellite service, ending a prolonged blackout of CBS programming.

CBS, the nation’s most-watched TV network, had become unavailable on the AT&T services in late July after the two parties failed to come to new terms on retransmisson of various CBS stations. In all, about 6.6 million people were unable to see CBS via traditional services.

The new 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. The two companies declined to elaborate on the financial terms of the agreement.

The two parties had sparred over costs, with AT&T insisting in public statements that CBS’ pricing demands were unreasonable and CBS stating that it simply wanted to get what its network and programming were worth in the current market. CBS distributes high-demand programming such as “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “Young Sheldon” and Sunday football telecasts.

“CBS and AT&T regret any inconvenience to their customers and viewers and thank them for their patience,” the companies said in a joint statement.

The showdown took place while several other programmers and distributors are fighting similar battles. A passel of regional sports networks currently owned by Disney and set to be sold to Sinclair Broadcast Group are currently not available on Dish after the two sides could not come to carriage terms. An interim management team is overseeing the sports networks, not Disney itself. AT&T has also been quarreling with TV-stations owner Nexstar Media Group.

 

 

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