Earlier this week, CBS warned that CBS owned local stations could be dark on DIRECTV, DIRECTV NOW and U-vers TV. Now AT&T says they can get dark today. In a statement sent to Cord Cutters News by AT&T, they blame CBS for possible blackout.
"[AT&T] has offered to pay CBS an outstanding interest rate increase and the highest fee we currently pay to any major broadcasting network group. CBS has refused. We also asked CBS to allow us to sell its CBS All Access Again, CBS refused, even though CBS already allows our competitors like Roku and Amazon to market the standalone offer, the reason for CBS's refusal is that CBS and other companies that own local CBS affiliates – such as Nexstar, Tribune and Sinclair – will limit customers' choices so broadcasters can continue to use blackouts to cut consumer access and inflate their fees. Anyway, consumers lose. "AT & T said in a statement sent to Cord Cutters News.
"Because of these factors, it has become clear to us that CBS intends to swing out a home that chooses to receive cable or satellite service for up-sell CBS All Access subscriptions," said AT & T. statement .
Here is AT & T's complete statement:
CBS placed our customers in the middle of negotiations this week by taking business discussions publicly. With our contract expiring tonight, we want to update our customers on the status of our calls.
In negotiations like these with CBS, Nexstar and others, we are fighting on behalf of our customers against the unsustainably growing retransmission fees charged by those companies. At the same time, we will avoid unnecessary disruption to CBS-owned stations or national channels that some of our customers care about.
In this connection, we have offered to pay CBS an outstanding interest rate increase and the highest fee we currently pay to any major broadcasting network group. CBS has refused. We also asked CBS to allow us to sell its CBS All Access streaming service. Again, CBS refused, even though CBS already allows our competitors such as Roku and Amazon to market the standalone offer. The reason for CBS's refusal is that CBS and other companies that own local CBS affiliates – such as Nexstar, Tribune and Sinclair – will limit customers' choices so broadcasters can continue to use blackouts to cut consumer access and inflate their fees . Anyway, consumers lose.
Because of these factors, it has become clear to us that CBS intends to swing out any home that chooses to receive cable or satellite service to sell CBS All Access subscriptions. CBS has said publicly that between 2018 and the end of this year it will increase the prices of around 75 per cent of all homes that choose to receive the content via cable or satellite. CBS has also said publicly that it costs All Access as much higher to capitalize on customers as it can capture from cable, satellite or other forms of distribution.
CBS has also rejected our request to give our customers past episodes and all seasons of shows, which is content that other programmers routinely provide to our customers.
In general, CBS has rejected AT & T's desire to offer customers more choice over the content they want to receive, while at the same time getting much better value.
Make no mistake. We want these CBS owned and operated local broadcast stations in our lineup. But customers today demand more value from their TV offers, and we must convince companies like CBS to accept the same measure that our own TV customers have made clear.
If CBS pulls its channels tonight, the vast majority of our TV home in thousands of cities will continue to receive its local CBS station just as before. For customers who do not, CBS also displays available in many affected cities via the new Locast app on DIRECTV Genie and U-verse Internet-connected receivers. We can also offer our customers an innovative product called Local Channel Connector that can put local broadcast station signals into program guides from many DIRECTV customers with Genie receivers. Both of these options can help football fans if CBS's removal continues in college and pro seasons.
Fans of any of the 14 CBS local stations involved can also look over the air and usually on the station's website, on CBS.com or using the CBS app. CBS Sports Network and the Smithsonian Channel stream their shows through their own networking sites and mobile apps.
Our goal is simple: to deliver the content our customers will have to a value that also makes sense to them . We continue to fight for it here and appreciate our customers' patience.
Here is the full statement by CBS on possible blackout:
CBS Corporation, owner of America's Most Watched Network, resolutely and in good faith with DIRECTV, DIRECTV NOW and AT & T U-verse TV to reach a fair market value agreement for the programming.
CBS has reached timely and fair deals with hundreds of other cable, satellite, telecom, and internet providers to carry our industry-leading, fan-favorite programming. However, AT and T continue to propose unfair terms far below those agreed by competitors and may release CBS unless we agree to these terms.
CBS wants to avoid being lost, but unless a deal is reached, our viewers should be prepared for DIRECTV and AT & T U-TV to remove CBS-owned TV stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago , Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta, Tampa, Seattle, Detroit, Minneapolis, Miami, Denver, Sacramento, Pittsburgh and Baltimore at. 11 am, PT on July 19. DIRECTV NOW customers throughout the country will also lose CBS Television Network's hit programming.
AT & T is willing to deprive its customers of valuable content, become routine over the past few weeks and months, and recent talks have regularly led to transportation disputes, blackouts and popular channels being removed from their service.
For more information, visit www.KeepCBS.com.
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