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Home / Business / A + E Networks boss warns of potential AT & T blackout, says AT & T: "New position to gain unfair advantage to their own channels" – Deadline

A + E Networks boss warns of potential AT & T blackout, says AT & T: "New position to gain unfair advantage to their own channels" – Deadline



Another cable network group faces a possible blackout on AT & T platforms, including DirecTV. A month after Viacom negotiated a very difficult negotiation agreement with AT & T to prevent a blackout, A + E Networks is in a similar position.

In an internal message sent today, Paul Buccieri, President of The A + E Networks Group, which includes A & E Network, History and Lifetime, informs his team about the discussions with AT & T. "We are In the middle of (a) negotiations with AT & T, which owns DirecTV, and with the end of the contract we are still far from reaching a deal. "

The current contract of carriage of the two companies expires on Tuesday. In his letter, Buccieri alleges that AT & T has left the impasse.

"Although I have respect for them and our long-standing relationship, AT & T has shown no willingness to reasonably negotiate," Buccieri wrote. "The deal we are looking for is based on the same fair market conditions that have allowed us to make deals with numerous other providers. AT & T simply has not proved that they recognize the value of our programming and the high esteem of our viewers – including AT & T's own customers. "

This is AT & T's second very difficult promotion negotiation Cable group leads since The company has completed the acquisition of WarnerMedia. The first with Viacom went, although an extension was not possible because the original deadline could not be met. Buccieri expressed concern that AT & T is using its size as an unfair advantage over smaller cable groups.

"After AT & T recently acquired WarnerMedia, it appears to be its intention to use its new position to gain an unfair advantage for its own channels," said Buccieri. "Many, including the US Department of Justice, were concerned that AT & T might have the ability and incentive to discriminate programmers like A + E Networks and others like us. It seems that this worry has become reality.

Here is his full letter:

Dear Team,

I'm sorry to interrupt your weekend, but I wanted you to hear that directly from me.

Thanks to your creativity, talent and dedication, each day our networks provide some of the best programs on TV and serve the audience in a unique and thoughtful way. Whether the women have a voice, as in the recent Surviving R. Kelly who create transparency with Live PD or any number of the seminal HISTORY series – such as The Curse of Oak I o r Project Blue Book – A + E Networks' storytelling brand is unmistakable to our viewers. Consumers have more options than ever before and select millions of people because they consider the programming and community around our content to be meaningful and original.

It's a privilege to create content for our viewers. It is our passion. It is also our business. Content has value as a company. We have a responsibility to our stakeholders to value our content, efforts and creative community. More than ever, we need to protect the value of creativity and content. Above all, it is our viewers' responsibility to ensure we are there for them by investing in the programs they love and rely on.

In order to conduct our business properly, fair agreements must be negotiated with the distributors who offer our programs to the viewers' homes. We did this without removing our portfolio from the platforms of all traders. Only a few of our colleagues can say the same thing.

At the moment we are in a bargain with AT & T, which owns DIRECTV, and with the upcoming contract we are still far from reaching a deal. Although I have respect for them and our long-standing relationship, AT & T has shown no willingness to negotiate properly. The deal we seek is based on the same fair market conditions that have allowed us to make deals with many other providers. AT & T simply has not proven that they recognize the value of our programming and the high esteem of our viewers – including AT & T's own customers.

Following the acquisition of WarnerMedia, AT & T seems to be using its new position to gain an unfair advantage for its own channels. Many, including the US Department of Justice, were concerned that AT & T might have the ability and incentive to discriminate programmers like A + E Networks and others like us. It seems that concern has become a reality.

Millions of households could be affected and take their favorite programs if AT & T does not run our networks on their platforms. Therefore, we will shortly be communicating with all our stakeholders about this situation, including our viewers.

Over the last 35 years, the A + E Networks brands have played an important and influential role in American popular culture – critical perspective on HISTORY, on the everlasting and iconic Lifetime movie to reinvent reality and to reinvent live storytelling on A & E. We are confident that at the end of the day, AT & T puts consumers first.

I understand that many of you and your families and friends may be AT & T or DIRECTV subscribers. Please provide us with a link to http://www.keepmychannels.com for up-to-date information and information.

We will continue to keep you updated on all updates. In the meantime, the leadership team and I ask that everyone focus on doing what they do best: they deliver amazing stories that are told with heart and passion that are definitely A & E, HISTORY, Lifetime and all A's + E Networks are.
Sincerely, Paul


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