DALLAS, Texas – Subscribers to DIRECTV and AT&T TV NOW can stand to lose access to their local stations.
The original intention was for the networks to go off the air on January 1, Wednesday, but thanks to a negotiation, an agreement was reached to postpone the takedown until this afternoon.
Of the channels that are to be taken down from the two services, 34 are owned by Hearst. Hearst has until this afternoon, January 3, to reach another extension or deal to prevent their networks being pulled from AT&T’s services.
In a statement given out by AT&T, they expressed their disappointment that Hearst Television had gotten AT&T’s customers involved in a private business affair between their two corporations.
AT&T reaffirmed customers that they will continue to fight for their ability to choose while at the same time maintaining high service quality, while mentioning Hearst’s reputation of withholding its stations from services to increase the royalty fees they get.
Still, AT&T said that they want customers to have access to Hearst’s local stations, but the issue of Hearst’s permission remains present.
Further, they expressed their view that consumers should have more freedom of choice on which channels to pay for and which ones they can obtain for free. This includes freedom on what devices and locations they choose to watch from.
Finally, they expressed their hopes to ultimately avoid the pulling of Hearst’s local stations from either of their services, and thanked customers for their patience with this problem thus far.
Meanwhile, Hearst has posted a statement on their website regarding the possible withdrawal.
In it, Hearst spoke of their history of successful agreements with cable companies and satellite distributors, with no inconvenience to their viewers whatsoever. With this being said, however, they still gave a disclaimer: that it is possible that their current agreement with AT&T will not be renewed for 2020.