AT&T has come to a new carriage agreement with Dispatch Broadcasting, returning two Dispatch-owned stations to the lineups of DIRECTV and U-verse TV after a five-week blackout.
Dispatch pulled the two stations — WTHR-TV (NBC affiliate in Indianapolis) and WBNS-TV (CBS affiliate in Columbus, Ohio) — from the two AT&T-owned TV services on September 6 when the old carriage pact expired.
But the companies announced they had reached a new agreement on Friday. The two sides were fighting over how much AT&T and DIRECTV should pay to carry the local channels. Terms of the new agreement were not revealed.
Meanwhile, AT&T’s U-verse TV service is still without three Capitol Broadcasting-owned local stations — WRAL, the NBC affiliate in Raleigh, North Carolina, WILM, an independent station in Wilmington, North Carolina, and WRAZ-TV, the Fox affiliate in Raleigh, North Carolina — due to a separate fee fight. The stations were pulled by Capitol Broadcasting on September 13 when the broadcaster and telco could not reach a new pact.
And DIRECTV is still without seven American Spirit Media-owned local stations due to yet another carriage dispute. (AT&T’s U-verse is missing four stations in the same fee fight. ).
The seven stations include five Fox affiliates, one CBS affiliate, and one CW affiliate in such markets as Richmond, Virginia, Wichita Falls, Texas, Toledo, Ohio, and Wilmington, North Carolina.
The AT&T/DIRECTV-American Spirit Media blackout began on September 21.
— Phillip Swann