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Home / Business / CA DirecTV customers lose CBS stations in dispute over fees

CA DirecTV customers lose CBS stations in dispute over fees

See how to install a TV antenna to get free channels

Curtis Carroll, of West Sacramento, a digital antenna enthusiast, has an RCA digital antenna which he demonstrates how to use one to get around DirecTV blackout of KCRA Channel 3 in the Sacramento region.

Curtis Carroll, of West Sacramento, a digital antenna enthusiast, has an RCA digital antenna which he demonstrates how to use one to bypass the DirecTV blackout of KCRA Channel 3 in the Sacramento region.

20. July 1969, viewers from the coast to the coast sat down to televisions such as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin began their descent to the moon's surface. Most televisions in America that night were tuned to the 32-hour marathon of coverage from CBS and Marker anchor Walter Cronkite.

Fifty years later, some pay-TV customers trying to watch CBS can feel like they're on the dark side of the moon.

Subscribers to the DirecTV satellite and the U-Verse fiber TV service, both owned by AT&T, are without CBS-owned stations in Sacramento and a handful of other large media markets after the calls broke down

Subscriber's Lost Access to KOVR, better known as CBS 13, as well as other channels owned and operated by CBS Corp. – as CW 31 (KMAX) in Sacramento, CPIX channel 5 in San Francisco, KCAL channel 9 in Los Angeles and even the Smithsonian Channel and CBS Sports Network.

After failing to reach an agreement by 23:00 Pacific time Friday with CBS, AT & T Corp lost authorization to carry the channels for its 24 million household customer base.

"After months of negotiations, CBS looks at receiving real value for its popular programming," CBS said. a statement Saturday morning. "The DirecTV agreement that expired tonight was signed in 2012 and is not close to today's reasonable market terms for CBS content."

In addition, the DirecTV signal sent to all CBS affiliates on the DirecTV Now app, which is used to stream programming on mobile devices. All in all, says CBS, more than 100 media markets have lost the opportunity to see their network without a solution.

That means "Big Brother", "Good Day Sacramento", "60 Minutes", "CBS Sunday Morning," and "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" will not be available to DirecTV and U-Verse customers in future. If the death strikes, Sacramento subscribers may even miss the San Francisco Giants game on the CW 31 – the next game to appear on KMAX will be August 16th.

"As we continue to negotiate in good faith and hope that AT&T will accept fair terms soon, the loss of CBS programming can last a long time," says CBS.

AT & T says CBS has put Sacramento customers in the middle negotiations.

"We were willing to continue negotiating and offered to pay CBS a hitherto uncertain interest rate increase," said Ryan Oliver, AT&T spokesman. "That increase will present CBS the highest fee we currently pay to any one any major broadcast network group, despite the fact that CBS stations such as KOVR-CBS and KMAX-CW are available free of charge over the air. "

"In short, CBS is seeking to convert a free, publicly-subsidized broadcasting station to a high-speed channel while leaving cable and satellite customers holding the bag," he said.

Retransmission fees

Blackouts are not new to pay TV customers This year there have been more than 200 television disturbances compared to 165 outbreaks in 2018, according to Oliver and American Television Alliance, a lobby group funded by cable and satellite providers.

The question is the amount of money CBS and other broadcast giants have Required from cable and satellite companies to carry their signals, known as retransmission costs, last year, television station owners gathered a combined $ 10 billion in such fees, up nearly 5,000 percent from $ 200,000 in 2006, said the Alliance. has gone down, the network has wanted more money for transportation, according to AT & T, the country's largest pay-TV distributor. [19659010] "The problem is that broadcasters, like CBS, demand more money for their viewers – our subscribers – to see less," AT&T wrote to Congress on Friday. "Our customers are tired of these tactics. They are tired of the endless cycle of price increases and blackouts."

Similarly, CBS owed AT&T to the death.

"AT&T is willing to deprive its customers of valuable content, been routinely the last few weeks and months, and recent talks have regularly resulted in transport disputes, blackouts and popular channels being removed from their service," CBS said in a statement. a statement.

CBS uses these fees to cover the high cost of football coverage. In 2011, CBS was awarded a nine-year extension for NFL games, including the Super Bowl LIII this year and the Super Bowl LVI in 2022. Most CBS stations are in AFC stock markets and the deal allows their stations in Sacramento and San Francisco to be go -to-channel for Oakland Raiders game. NFL reap $ 27 billion in the deal that included NBC and Fox, according to Forbes; and CBS's stake was reportedly around $ 3 billion, up from the previous multi-year deal costing each network around $ 1.93 billion.

NFL games represented 46 of the 50 most watched TV shows this fall, according to the NFL, and had twice the average audience for the primetime show. But this foothold went to 15.8 million viewers for the 2018-19 season from 17.5 million viewers in 2011-12.

Nevertheless, the high football competition gives local stations and the networks an opportunity to score big advertising money. A 30 second football spot on CBS $ 550,000 commands, according to AdAge. It's about five times the average cost for a similar place within "60 minutes" and four times the amount for a commercial under "Survivor."

CBS raked in more than $ 5 million per 30 second ad during the Super Bowl, earning an estimated $ 382 million for the February game. However, the show sank for the big game where the New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams. The total number of visitors to TV and streaming was 100.7 million, says CBS, a decrease of 5 per cent from the previous year. The light upbringing made the lowest audience for the big game in a decade.

Meanwhile, distributors have their own fight, hoping to keep costs down as they lose customers for cheaper streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. AT&T says DirecTV has lost about 1 million subscribers in the past year. Payment providers are facing challenges from the programmers as well, since CBS has subscribed to requests for their network programs and the premium channel Showtime.

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<p>                          A graphic being carried on AT & T U-Vers instead of CBS owned and operated content, is seen on Saturday 20 July 2019. Subscribers to DirecTV satellite and U-Vers fiber service, both owned by AT&T, are without CBS-owned stations in Sacramento and a handful of other large media markets after conversations settled between the two media giants over how it previously pays for the latter. programming.</p>
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was replaced by a screen around 11:15. Friday. The message, carried on U-Vers in parts of Sacramento, reads, "CBS, the owner of this channel has removed it from your listing despite our request to keep it available to you," direct watchers to an AT&T site .

This site describes the company's dispute with CBS, as well as another national media owner, Nexstar, who owns a constellation of 171 local stations affiliated with CBS, as well as with NBC, ABC and Fox. These channels have been out of line since July 3.

In total, CBS O&O, as they are known, is 15 CBS stations in cities such as New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, Atlanta, Boston, Miami, Minneapolis, Denver, Seattle and Detroit. The company also operates 8 CW dealers, three independent stations and two MyNetwork affiliates.

Officials from KOVR, Sacramento CBS Station, were not immediately available for comment. An employee who answered the phone in the CBS 13 newsroom said he was not authorized to talk about the matter, but said the station had received several calls on Saturday morning and let it be "a talker, for sure."

Both sides have said they intend to reach an agreement as soon as possible, but how long it will take is still unknown.

Two years ago, the DirecTV customers lost access to KCRA, the Hearst-owned NBC branch on Channel 3, after the parent company fought with the satellite provider for more money. Programming was restored more than a week after the contract expired and the plug was pulled. The terms of this agreement were not disclosed.

In other cases of outbreaks between stations and pay-TV operators, outbreaks were as low as one day or as long as several months. One such case in 2015, between Dish Network and Sinclair Broadcasting, resulted in subscribers missing several weeks of local programming. Another between a Texas broadcaster and DirecTV was five months.

"Our goal is simple: to deliver the content our customers will have at a value that also makes sense to them," said Oliver. "We continue to fight for this and appreciate our customers' patience."

How to look at CBS

AT&T encouraged customers to use their Locast app that streams local content from CBS and other networks to mobile devices. Both companies have promoted the use of CBS & # 39; All Access streaming service, which costs $ 5.99 per month. The content is also available at cbs.com and cwtv.com.

AT & T Representative Oliver says the channels remain available through their Local Channel Connector, a device that puts the station's signals to program guides from many DirecTV customers with Genie receivers. "

For those who prefer large screens, customers can dust off an old antenna to receive CBS in the air, although they need a newer television capable of deciphering digital signals. A better bet would be to install one Digital antenna for receiving KOVR, KMAX and the other Sacramento area broadcast services. The indoor antennas range in price from about $ 15 to $ 150. Some include amplifiers to increase the signal for those staying longer from a transmitter.

CBS says viewers can stay updated by visiting keepcbs.com or calling 855-553-3722.

As a last resort, you may want to be comfortable with a neighbor who is serviced by Comcast, consolidated communications or dishwashing.

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