AT&T, CBS Make Nice And Sign New Contract, Avoiding Network Blackout

In a nice change for consumers, a content company and a distribution company managed to save everyone the rigamarole of a blackout and a finger-pointing yell-a-thon when they instead settled their differences and negotiated a new contract hours after the old one expired.

The Wall Street Journal reports that representatives from CBS and AT&T negotiated through the night to come to an agreement that will keep CBS’s broadcast networks, as well as the Showtime premium channel, available for U-Verse subscribers.

Had the late-night talks not been productive, approximately 2.5 million of U-Verse’s six million subscribers would have lost their local CBS affiliates, and millions more would have lost Showtime. Happily for all involved parties, that didn’t have to happen.

Negotiations had been taking place since March, according to the WSJ, but stalled out as CBS called out AT&T for being more focused on its planned acquisition of DirecTV than on its existing TV contracts.

The detailed terms of the agreement have not been released, because contract carriage fee agreements never are. However, the deal will put extra CBS networks on U-verse subscribers’ screens in 2016, including Pop, CBS Sports, and the Smithsonian Channel.

CBS, AT&T Reach New Distribution Deal [Wall Street Journal]

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