By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman
DIRECTV has warned Warner Bros. Discovery that putting a live stream of CNN on the Max streaming service risks violating its carriage agreement with the satcaster, The New York Times reported today. The nation’s largest satellite TV provider sent a letter to WBD in the last week notifying the company of its concerns, the newspaper said. Max added the live stream of CNN on Max on September 27. The feed includes some shows from CNN International as well as primetime CNN programs such as Anderson Cooper 360, The Lead with Jake Tapper, and The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.
DIRECTV did not say it would take action against WBD, the Times reports. But the newspaper notes it’s a reflection of the growing concern among pay TV operators that companies such as WBD are devaluing their viewership by offering the same programming on their streaming services. The thinking is why subscribe to DIRECTV or another pay TV provider when you can get the same shows from Max. The WBD streaming service this week will also add live sports from Turner networks TBS and TNT.
The Times writes that DIRECTV had no comment on the letter, but Warner Bros. Discovery told the newspaper that it “maintains strong and meaningful relationships with our affiliate partners. Our partners are aware of and understand our rationale with Max, which is to reach new audiences.”
Charter, which owns Spectrum TV, voiced similar concerns about competing with a programmer’s streaming offering during its recent 11-day carriage dispute with Disney. Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen has also expressed frustration that programmers are allowing their live channels to be shown on streaming.
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— Phillip Swann