In a message appearing on its TV station websites Sunday morning (3/26), Raycom Media has reached an agreement that ends its retransmission fee impasse with AT&T U-Verse.
At NBC affiliate WAVE-3 in Louisville, Ky., the station noted that it is “back on your AT&T U-Verse system now or will be shortly.”
As RBR + TVBR reported March 16, AT&T U-Verse at 11:59pm March 15 dropped all Raycom-owned stations from its channel lineups in 23 different markets. The reason? A disagreement over retrans fees.
“We are pleased to have reached an agreement that restores our Raycom Media station’s signals on the AT&T U-Verse system.” Raycom Media President/CEO Pat LaPlatney said. “We apologize to our viewers for this inconvenience and appreciate their patience during the impasse.”
In the last 3 years, Raycom Media has successfully negotiated retransmission consent agreements with 99.5% of operators without an interruption in service, LaPlatney said in a shot to AT&T.
The key issue appears to be centered on AT&T’s acquisition of DirecTV, and its aggressive push to convert U-Verse customers to DirecTV; the two services have different retrans fee structures, and Raycom has been particularly affected by the integration of DirecTV into U-Verse, which has resulted in the former phasing out the latter.
Raycom notes that this represents the “fifth takedown of service by AT&T U-Verse” since its merger with DirecTV.
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