AT&T drops CBS channels from its cable systems

CBS stations go dark for DirecTV customers amid contract dispute with AT&T

CBS stations go dark for DirecTV customers amid contract dispute with AT&T

CBS television channels won't be showing up on the DirecTV service in cities from Boston to Los Angeles, as a deadline passed for CBS Corporation and AT&T to work out their differences.

In a lengthy statement Friday morning, AT&T said it has "offered to pay CBS an unprecedented rate increase and the highest fee we now pay to any major broadcast network group".

AT&T took issue with CBS' promotion of its own online service.

CBS and AT&T are in a contract dispute that affects subscribers of DirecTV Now and other services. AT&T said in a statement sent to Cord Cutters News.

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"[AT&T] have offered to pay CBS an unprecedented rate increase and the highest fee we now pay to any major broadcast network group. CBS has said publicly that it priced All Access much higher to capitalize on customers it can capture from cable, satellite or other means of distribution". While AT&T accuses CBS of seeking exorbitant price hikes for its stations, CBS counters that it is asking for the same terms that the Eye has in retrans pacts with other sizable MVPDs. DirecTV and U-verse together reach about 22.4 million subscribers. Recent messages from AT&T have pointed customers to over-the-air signals and the non-profit local TV streaming app Locast and have not mentioned All Access as a way of getting the CBS signal.

There is no word on how long the blackout could last.

AT&T is also involved in contract negotiations with Irving-based Nexstar Media Group, impacting DirecTV customers across the nation. A number of those stations are also CBS affiliates. The spat comes at the same time that local stations owned by Nexstar have also hit an impasse with AT&T, leaving those stations dark for the past two-plus weeks. "AT&T, however, continues to propose unfair terms well below those agreed to by its competitors and may drop CBS unless we agree to those terms". Again it is important to remember that these will just be CBS owned locals not all CBS local stations. It's understood that CBS was looking to raise its monthly per subscribe fee from about $2 to $3 under the new deal.

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