CBS-Owned Stations Dropped from DIRECTV, AT&T U-verse


CBS-owned television stations have gone dark on DIRECTV, DIRECTV NOW and AT&T U-verse TV in a slew of markets across the U.S. as a result of a carriage dispute.

The dispute also saw CBS Sports Network being dropped nationally from DIRECTV and DIRECTV NOW, and Smithsonian Channel being removed from DIRECTV.

“After months of negotiations, CBS is simply looking to receive fair value for its popular programming and is proposing economic terms similar to those that AT&T’s competitors have accepted in hundreds of our recent distribution agreements,” a statement from CBS Corporation said. “The DIRECTV deal [that expired on Friday] was signed in 2012 and is nowhere close to today’s fair market terms for CBS content—to which AT&T’s competitors have repeatedly agreed. CBS granted an extension of its current deal with AT&T earlier this month in order to try to reach an agreement without consumers being put in the middle. We also offered a 30-day extension yesterday to work towards a fair deal for all parties—most importantly, our loyal viewers—but AT&T declined that additional extension. While CBS has made every effort to avoid this blackout, we won’t agree to terms that undervalue our hit programming enjoyed by nearly 240 million viewers across all dayparts last season on ‘America’s Most-Watched Network.’ Those loyal viewers are now bearing the burden for AT&T’s unwillingness to negotiate a deal that reflects the current marketplace.”

The CBS statement concluded, “While we continue to negotiate in good faith and hope that AT&T agrees to fair terms soon, this loss of CBS programming could last a long time.”

For its part, AT&T said it was “willing to continue to negotiate and also offered to pay CBS an unprecedented rate increase. That increase would present CBS the highest fee we currently pay to any major broadcast network group, despite the fact that CBS stations are available free over the air.”