CBS removed its 14 own CBS locals from DIRECTV, DIRECTV NOW and U-verse TV today. Now, CBS Sports Network and the Smithsonian Channel have also been removed from AT & T's DIRECTV service.
Here's the statement that AT & T made about the CBS blackout:
CBS has put our clients in the middle of the negotiations by train its local CBS stations in 14 cities. We were ready to negotiate and offered CBS an unprecedented rate hike. With this increase, CBS would pay the highest fee we currently pay to a larger broadcast network group, even though CBS broadcasters are available for free via radio.
We were hoping to avoid unnecessary disruption from CBS 'own stations or national channels causing channels that interest some of our customers. But CBS refused.
CBS is a repeated blackout offender and has in the past removed the same broadcasters from DISH Network and Charter Spectrum customers, threatening to remove them from others for much higher fees. CBS continues to demand unprecedented growth, even as CBS continues to develop content on CBS All Access rather than on its local broadcasters. CBS has publicly announced that All Access is significantly more expensive to benefit from customers who can track it via cable, satellite or other distribution channels.
In short, CBS seeks to transform a free publicly subsidized broadcaster into a high-end broadcaster. Cost channel, while cable and satellite customers hold the bag in their hands.
Make no mistake. We want to have the CBS-operated local radio stations in our lineup. However, customers are demanding more choice and added value from their local stations today. Instead, it has become clear to us that CBS intends to obscure any house that wants to receive cable or satellite services, which runs counter to its most loyal viewers.
CBS and other broadcasters continue to cause power outages at a record pace of more than 213 this year, and thus the previous record of 2017.
The vast majority of our television households in thousands of different cities will continue to use the same local CBS Receive stations as before. For customers who do not, CBS broadcasts are still available in many affected cities through the new Locast app on Internet-connected DIRECTV Genie and U-verse receivers. We are also able to offer our customers an innovative product called the Local Channel Connector, which allows local broadcast signals to be included in the program guides of many DIRECTV customers with genius recipients. Both options could be helpful for football fans if CBS's move to college and professional season continues.
Fans of all 14 local CBS stations involved can also watch CBS.com or the CBS app wirelessly and usually on the station's website. CBS Sports Network and Smithsonian Channel stream their broadcasts through their own network websites and mobile apps.
There are ways to permanently eliminate these blackouts, including new laws, and fortunately Congress has raised more interest. However, the best option is to build mutually beneficial relationships with broadcasters such as CBS by negotiating in good faith.
Our goal is quite simple: to provide the content desired by our customers at a value that makes sense for . We continue to fight for it and appreciate the patience of our customers.
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