Thursday, December 29, 2016 — Last night, Cox Media Group’s (CMG’s) local television stations began notifying their viewers of a potential service disruption involving AT&T U-Verse and DIRECTV. CMG’s retransmission consent agreements for subscribers to those services expire at 11:59 PM Pacific Time on December 31, 2016, and a new agreement has not yet been reached. This disruption could affect AT&T U-Verse and DIRECTV subscribers in Atlanta (WSBTV-2), Boston (WFXT-25), Charlotte (WSOC-9 and WAXN-64), Dayton (WHIO-7), Jacksonville (WFOX-30), Memphis (WHBQ-13), Orlando (WFTV-9 and WRDQ-27), Pittsburgh (WPXI-11), Seattle (KIRO-7) and Tulsa (KOKI-23 and KMYT-41).
CMG has successfully negotiated retransmission consent agreements with every cable and satellite programmer that carries its stations across the country with the exception of AT&T U-Verse and DIRECTV. The parties continue to negotiate and CMG is committed to working around the clock to preserve service for all of its viewers. At the same time, CMG feels a responsibility to let its viewers know of the potential impending service disruption so that viewers who depend on its stations can make alternative arrangements for receiving local television service.
Jane Williams, CMG’s Executive Vice President for Television issued the following statement:
“We are disappointed that CMG and AT&T appear to be reaching an impasse that could lead to a disruption in service for AT&T U-Verse and DIRECTV subscribers. We have negotiated many of these agreements with cable and satellite operators throughout the United States and have rarely had disputes of this kind. In just the past few weeks, we have reached agreement with some of the largest video distributors in the country. We certainly hope for the same result in our negotiations with AT&T/DIRECTV.”
About Cox Media GroupCox 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.