Sunday, January 01, 2017 — After prolonged negotiations, Cox Media Group (CMG) has announced that 13 stations in 10 markets across the United States have been removed from AT&T U-Verse and DIRECTV local channel lineups. The affected markets include Atlanta (WSBTV-2), Boston (WFXT-25), Charlotte (WSOC-9), Dayton (WHIO-7), Jacksonville (WFOX-30), Memphis (WHBQ-13), Orlando (WFTV-9), Pittsburgh (WPXI-11), Seattle (KIRO-7) and Tulsa (KOKI-23). Until continuing negotiations produce a deal. AT&T and DIRECTV subscribers in those markets will not be able to watch CMG’s local stations on the U-Verse or DIRECTV platforms.
Jane Williams, CMG’s Executive Vice president for Television, issued the following statement:
“It isn’t exactly a Happy New Year for AT&T U-Verse and DIRECTV subscribers in CMG’s markets. We are as confused as our viewers about why AT&T/DIRECTV has decided to remove our stations from their video service when CMG has for weeks now been offering AT&T/DIRECTV a fair deal to continue carrying our stations.
“Negotiations continue, and we expect this disruption to be brief considering that every other pay-TV provider has come to reasonable terms with CMG. We have made ourselves available twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week to get this deal done.”
“AT&T/DIRECTV is one of the biggest companies in the world, and with their proposed merger with Time Warner, they are poised to get even bigger. It’s unfortunate that our viewers are the victims of this company’s effort to use its size and market power to force CMG to accept an unfair contract. If this conduct continues, we think the authorities in Washington may need to examine whether allowing AT&T/DIRECTV to grow any bigger is good for local TV viewers.”
Williams also noted that CMG’s stations remain available free over-the-air to viewers with an antenna and through every other pay-TV provider in all of CMG’s markets.
About Cox Media Group
Cox Media Group is an integrated broadcasting, publishing, direct marketing and digital media company that includes the national advertising rep firms of CoxReps. Additionally, CMG owns Cox Target Media, which operates Valpak, one of North America’s leading direct marketing companies, and Savings.com, a leading online source for savings. The company’s operations currently include 14 broadcast television stations and one local cable channel, more than 60 radio stations, seven daily newspapers and more than a dozen non-daily publications, and more than 100 digital services. CMG currently operates in more than 20 media markets and reaches approximately 52 million Americans weekly, including more than 31 million TV viewers, more than 3.5 million print and online newspaper readers, and more than 14 million radio listeners. For more information about Cox Media Group, please check us out online at www.coxmediagroup.com.