A + E Networks is a warning about a possible blackout of A&E Network, Lifetime, History, and other channels across DirecTV platforms when the pages go down to the lead of car renewal negotiations.
DirecTV and A + E networks are facing a deadline of midnight ET Tuesday to find a new deal that will hold A + E Network's channels on DirecTV, DirecTV Now, and U-verse. A + E was expected to start running a crawl on Saturday night on selected programs across the channels to inform viewers of the possibilities of the channels becoming dark.
Negotiations are ongoing, but A + E Network's brass is clearly concerned. Paul Buccieri, CEO of A + E Networks, notified company leaders to the situation in a note sent Saturday afternoon.
"AT&T has not shown a willingness to negotiate reasonably," Buccieri wrote. "The agreement we seek is based on the same fair market conditions that have allowed us to offer with many other vendors. AT & T has simply not shown that they recognize the value of our programming and the high consideration we have of our viewers ̵
DirecTV Parents AT & T have been blunt in the discussions with Wall Street on the intention of hammering on rising programming costs, as the DirecTV service suffering from significant subscriber losses as the pay-TV ecosystem develops. Earlier this week, AT & T reported a loss of 544,000 DirecTV subscribers in the first quarter, leading to a total bottom line of AT&T MVPD services at $ 22.4 million.
AT&T is under pressure to improve the financial picture on DirecTV when the company owes a $ 170 billion debt Upload residues from the acquisitions of DirecTV in 2015 and Time Warner in 2018.
Buccieri claimed that AT & T's ghost discriminates against an external programming service after they have understood acquisitions. DirecTV last month ended up bucking carriage renewal negotiations with Viacom which also involved public saber rattling on both sides.
But DIrecTV is not alone among distributors facing contracts. Public disputes between MVPDs and programmers are rising at a time of rapid transformation of the pay-TV market as low costs, such as beginners like Hulu and YouTube moving in. Last year, the DirecTV rival dish came to a car deal with Univision After a nine-month blackout.
"Having recently purchased WarnerMedia, AT & T sees a purpose in using its new position to gain an unfair advantage for its own channels," Buccieri wrote. "Many, including the US Department of Justice, were concerned that AT&T would have the opportunity and incentive to discriminate programmers like A + E Networks and others like us. It seems that concern has become a reality."
A + E Networks is expected to start running promotional campaigns with the contract game and a crawling message on its largest channels. A + E Network's channel portfolio also includes FYI, Lifetime Movie Network and Viceland.
(Image: A & E Network's Live PD)