The companies had been tv at&t sports network for several weeks but failed to agree on pricing and streaming rights before the contract expired on Saturday at 2 a. The network is carried in about million homes across the country, either on a pay television service or free over the air.
The deadline was Saturday morning at 2 a. We were 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.
We had hoped to avoid any unnecessary interruption to any CBS-owned stations or national channels that some of our customers care about. But CBS refused. CBS is a repeat blackout offender and has removed these same stations from DISH Network and Charter Spectrum customers in the past and threatened to remove them from others to ensure much higher fees.
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. In short, CBS is seeking to convert a free, publicly subsidized broadcast station into a high-cost channel while leaving cable and satellite customers holding the bag.
Make no mistake. We want the CBS owned-and-operated local broadcast stations in our lineup. Yet customers today are demanding more choice and value from their local stations. Instead, it has become clear to us that CBS is intent on blacking out any home that chooses to receive cable or satellite service, antagonizing its most loyal viewers.
CBS and other broadcasters continue to cause blackouts at a record pace with more than so far this year, tying the prior record set in The vast majority of our TV homes in thousands of different cities will continue to receive their local CBS station the same as before.
We are also able to offer our customers an innovative product called Local Channel Connector that can put local broadcast station signals into the program guides of many DIRECTV customers with Genie receivers.
The channel was one of the original members of the Prime Network , a group of regional sports networks with the Los Angeles-based Prime Ticket now Fox Sports West as its flagship outlet. The network was later renamed Prime Sports Rocky Mountain in
Fans of any of the 14 CBS local stations involved can also watch over the air and typically at the station website, at CBS. There are ways to try to permanently eliminate these blackouts, including new legislation, and fortunately Congress has taken more interest.
But the best option is to create mutually beneficial relationships with broadcasters like CBS through good faith negotiations.