CBS, AT&T Come to Terms on Retransmission Agreement

Multiyear agreement brings CBS content back on air for blacked out markets.
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NEW YORK & EL SEGUNDO, Calif.—Ending a blackout that lasted a little more than three weeks, CBS and AT&T have reached an agreement on a multi-year content carriage agreement to provide CBS-owned local broadcast stations and national channels, including CBS Sports Network and the Smithsonian Channel, to AT&T’s video platforms.

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CBS stations went dark for AT&T’s DirecTV, DirecTV Now and U-Verse customers in 14 markets on July 20 after negotiations stalled between the two companies over retransmission fees. As a result of this new deal, the stations will return to all AT&T homes, including having local affiliates available for streaming on DirecTV Now, CBS Sports Network returning to DirecTV and DirecTV Now, and the Smithsonian Channel once again on DirecTV.

The new agreement covers 26 CBS stations in 17 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta, Tampa, Seattle, Detroit, Minneapolis, Miami, Denver, Sacramento, Pittsburgh and Baltimore.

In a joint statement announcing the deal read: “CBS and AT&T regret any inconvenience to their customers and viewers and thank them for their patience.”

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

This resolves one of the high profile retransmission disputes that AT&T was involved in. As of the time of publication, AT&T is still involved in negotiations with a group of Nexstar stations over carriage.