6.6 Million Lose CBS Channels After ‘Business Dispute’ With AT&T

“Media giants are embroiled in yet another fight over TV rates, and viewers are once again paying the price,” writes Engadget.

CBS’ channels in 17 markets (including New York, San Francisco and Atlanta) have gone dark on AT&T services like DirecTV Now and U-verse after the two companies failed to reach an agreement on a new carriage contract before the old one expired at 2AM ET on July 19th. As is often the case in disputes like this, the two sides are each accusing each other of being unreasonable — though AT&T in particular has also claimed that CBS is using All Access as a weapon.

CNET notes that the dispute also affects 100 CBS stations and affiliates on Direct Now, citing reports that it ultimately impacts a total of 6.6 million TV viewers in the U.S. “A business dispute took CBS off the air for millions of satellite television customers of DirecTV and AT&T U-verse on Saturday,” according to a news report (from CBS):

CBS said that while it didn’t want its customers caught in the middle, it is determined to fight for fair value… AT&T countered in a statement provided to Variety that CBS is “a repeat blackout offender” that has pulled its programming from other carriers before in order to get its way.
“Isn’t this the sort of thing they enemies of net neutrality assured us would never happen?” writes long-time Slashdot reader shanen. “Or is it just a plot to sell VPN services?”

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