WASHINGTON—The American Television Alliance is on the side of AT&T in the dispute with Tegna that led to the blackout of more than 60 local TV stations across the country as of Dec. 1 for DirecTV and U-Verse subscribers.
Tegna-owned stations—including ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and the CW—went dark for DirecTV and U-Verse subscribers at 7 p.m. ET on Dec. 1 because the two sides could not come to a retransmission agreement. ATVA had harsh criticisms for a situation it believes Tegna is primarily responsible for.
“It is alarming, albeit unsurprising, that Tegna is profiteering off the need for local news at a time as critical as during a national pandemic,” said Jessica Kendust, ATVA spokesperson.
“Following a self-reported revenue of $738 million in 2020’s third quarter, Tegna’s demand for astronomical retransmission fees on the backs of American consumers is baffling,” Kendust continued. “ATVA is disappointed that Tegna is ignoring the public interest to weaponize blackouts as a negotiation bargaining chip.”
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