DIRECTV and AT&T TV could lose 14 local stations this Tuesday due to a carriage dispute with Cox Media Group which manages the stations. (The fee fight also affects U-verse in the markets it serves.)
Cox, which is owned by Apollo Global Management, has posted a notice at the stations’ web sites saying the local channels could be removed this Tuesday at 3 a.m. ET.
“Our existing agreement with AT&T/DIRECTV expires after 1:59 a.m. Central time on Tuesday 2/2. If no deal is reached before that date, you will lose live access to shows like, FOX23 News, 911, NASCAR, MLB and more, which you rely on and are paying for,” stated KOKI-TV, the Fox affiliate in Tulsa, Oklahoma, one of the 14 stations.
The TV Answer Man has asked AT&T for a statement and will report back here if we get a response.
Update: AT&T released this statement on Thursday night:
“We’re disappointed to see Cox Media Group put our customers into the middle of a private business matter. We want to keep the Cox stations in their local lineups, but Cox alone has exclusive control over which homes are allowed to receive ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and CW in certain cities. Cox- owned stations have a long history of either threatening or pulling the Super Bowl and other important events from our customers and other providers. We continue to work with Cox to try to avoid any unnecessary disruption and appreciate our customers’ patience while we do.”
In addition to the threat of losing the 14 stations, more than a dozen different Cox Media stations which were previously owned by Northwest Broadcasting are saying their signals have already been removed from DIRECTV, U-verse and AT&T TV. Others are saying they could be removed soon. (The former Northwest stations are apparently operating on a different contract than the 14-station group that are threatening to remove their signals by February 2.)
Update: The stations that said their signals had already been removed have changed their notices to say they could be removed by February 2.
The 14 stations that are threatening to remove their signals from the AT&T services by February 2 are:
WSB-TV, Channel 2 (ABC, Atlanta, GA)
WFXT-TV, Channel 25 (FOX, Boston, MA)
WSOC-TV, Channel 9 (ABC, Charlotte, NC)
WAXN-TV, Channel 64 (IND, Charlotte, NC)
WHIO-TV, Channel 7 (CBS, Dayton, OH)
WFOX-TV, Channel 30 (FOX, Jacksonville, FL)
WFOX2-TV, Channel 32 (MNT, Jacksonville, FL)
WHBQ-TV, Channel 13 (FOX, Memphis, TN)
WFTV-TV, Channel 9 (ABC, Orlando, FL)
WRDQ-TV, Channel 27 (IND, Orlando, FL)
WPXI-TV, Channel 11 (NBC, Pittsburgh, PA)
KIRO-TV, Channel 7 (CBS, Seattle, WA)
KOKI-TV, Channel 23 (FOX, Tulsa, OK)
KMYT-TV, Channel 41 (MNT, Tulsa, OK)
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— Phillip Swann