AT&T Launches Emergency Weather Channel During Nexstar Blackout

With local stations off-air, AT&T pop-up channel will provide local news coverage to impacted areas.
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DALLAS—As its retransmission dispute with Nexstar continues, which has caused the blackout of more than 120 stations across the country, AT&T has announced that it is providing its customers access to local emergency weather information while traditional local news stations are off-air.

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“These emergency information services will feature local news coverage from affected cities, including ones where Nexstar is currently withholding stations, and allow customers to follow any emergency weather from city to city as conditions may progress,” the company wrote in an update on the negotiation process.

This service would help address a key concern raised by Washington, D.C., legislators over the blackout that impacted viewers were not able to access critical information typically provided by their local broadcast stations.

Nexstar’s stations have been off of AT&T since July 3. Nexstar claims that the stations were removed only after AT&T rejected an extension that would last until Aug. 2 as the two sides continued to negotiate a retransmission agreement, while AT&T says that Nexstar has been asking for retransmission fees at record highs, despite lowering performance numbers.

In its update, AT&T said that it is scheduled to meet with Nexstar on Friday, July 12, to continue negotiations.