CBS channels get blackout on DirecTV and other AT&T services

CBS and AT&T are in a contract dispute that affects subscribers of DirecTV Now and other services.

Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Techhnews

CBS television channels won’t be showing up on the DirecTV service in cities from Boston to Los Angeles, as a deadline passed for CBS Corporation and AT&T to work out their differences.

CBS said Saturday that the blackout is hitting customers of DirecTV, DirecTV Now and AT&T U-Verse in 17 cities — New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta, Tampa, Seattle, Detroit, Minneapolis, Miami, Denver, Sacramento, Pittsburgh and Baltimore — as well as more than 100 CBS stations and affiliates on DirecTV Now.

In addition, customers of DirecTV and DirecTV Now across the country have lost access to the CBS Sports Network. Meanwhile, the Smithsonian Channel has been removed from DirecTV.

The blackout stems from the expiration late Friday of a CBS-DirecTV deal signed in 2012, after the broadcaster and DirecTV owner AT&T failed to come to terms on a new carriage contract. (Disclosure: CBS Corporation is the parent of Techhnews.)

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“After months of negotiations, CBS is simply looking to receive fair value for its popular programming and is proposing economic terms similar to those that AT&T’s competitors have accepted in hundreds of our recent distribution agreements,” CBS said in a statement.

The dispute affects about 6.6 million subscribers of the DirecTV and U-Verse platforms, according to Variety.

AT&T took issue with CBS’ promotion of its own online service. “CBS is a repeat blackout offender,” AT&T said in a statement, as reported by Deadline. “CBS continues to demand unprecedented increases even as CBS advances content on CBS All Access instead of on its local broadcast stations.”

AT&T didn’t immediately respond to Techhnews’s request for comment.

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