Q. I read AT&T and DIRECTV say Tegna pulled their signals and I read that Tegna says AT&T and DIRECTV pulled them. Who actually pulled or removed the channels? I’m very confused. — Emily, Fairfax, Virginia.
Emily, that’s a great question. As you know, on December 1, DIRECTV lost 60 Tegna-owned local channels due to a carriage disagreement with the broadcaster. (The blackout also affects the AT&T-owned U-verse, AT&T TV and AT&T TV Now.)
Update: DIRECTV & Tegna sign new carriage pact.
Since the dispute began, AT&T, which also owns DIRECTV, has said Tegna “removed” the channels while Tegna has said the AT&T-owned TV services, including DIRECTV, is “taking away your access” to them, which sounds like a passive/aggressive way of saying they removed them.
So who’s right? Did DIRECTV take them away or did Tegna remove them? Both companies would like viewers to believe their position because it makes the other side look more responsible for the blackout. They removed the channels so they must be the reason why this is happening.
But the correct answer is that Tegna removed the channels. By law, a TV provider can not carry a local channel’s signal without its permission. And in this case, and all other carriage disputes, the TV provider can not carry it because it won’t pay what the local channel(s) is demanding for that authorization.
It’s not that AT&T doesn’t want to carry them because it doesn’t like their programming, or it doesn’t have room in its lineups. In fact, I’m sure AT&T would resuming carrying the Tegna channels this minute if it didn’t have to pay. But it doesn’t work that way.
This is not to say that we know AT&T is acting in “good faith” here. (Tegna says AT&T is definitely not.) We don’t know if the telco is offering to pay Tegna a fair rate to carry the channels, which presumably other pay TV providers have because they are carrying the channels. We can’t judge the merits of the two proposals because they are not publicized.
So we don’t know who’s ‘right’ in this dispute. For all we know, Tegna and AT&T are both acting in bad faith by both offering unrealistic proposals. That often happens in disputes in all industries until the two parties lessen their demands and settle.
But we can say that AT&T did not remove the channels. Tegna pulled them when AT&T said it wouldn’t agree to pay their fees.
Emily, hope that makes sense. Happy viewing, and stay safe!
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Yes, it’s clear that Tegna revoked permission to carry their signals when the current carriage contract ended on 11/30. DirecTV reportedly asked to be allowed to continue providing the stations while negotiations continued but Tegna apparently said NO. In fact, according to DTV, they asked to be allow continue providing the stations and offered to make any future agreement retroactive. Again Tegna reportedly said NO.
Not withstanding Tegna’s claim of “having negotiated “fair” arrangements with may other carriers”, both sides have successfully negotiated arrangements with other partners; so it’s hard to know who’s drawing a hard line as you said. Nevertheless, in the end, I have to presume the impass is an issue with the INCREASE Tegna is demanding since obviously, they had agreed on the prior contract.
Why? Will The channels come back on? At&t & Direct tv. Will lose its customers
Tegna is greedy. They made record profits in the 3rd quarter of 2020, 738 million. I really don’t care if I can watch “local programing”, it is largely irrelevant fluff but I am hoping that Directv can figure out a way to bring us the network shows that we are missing.
This year has been a trying year the least AT&t and DirecTV can do is come to some type of an agreement and let’s get these channels going are you going to start losing customers simple as that because we’re tired of being just treated and left out in the cold paying high cable bill on disability and we can’t get the channels that we used to yeah because you alone are too lazy to settle this agreement
It just amazes me how over the air broadcasters keep making themselves more and more irrelevant. Go ahead, pull your channels. There are way to many more entertainment options for us out there.
Very sad to take away a regular tv channel like wood tv during a pandemic!! I’m a disabled veteran & watch the news & really would like to have that chanel back. This is not right and should not be allowed to happen,you owners are making millions, not right at all. Especially when it’s the winter months, please get this back. Thx.