AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and CBS Corporation Common Stock (NYSE:CBS) have announced the signing of a new multi-year deal that will allow CBS channels back on U-verse, DirecTV, and DirecTV Now.
The two companies revealed on Thursday that the agreement will facilitate the return of the CBS channels to DirecTV, DirecTV Now and U-verse. This includes the Smithsonian Channel and CBS Sports Network. The channels are not expected to be part of the upcoming content streaming platform that AT&T wants to launch in the future.
The newly signed deal between CBS Corp and AT&T restores the channels after a three-week blackout for customers across the U.S after the two companies previously disagreed. The dispute between the two firms was fueled by AT&T’s disappointment in the rates that it pays to CBS for the channels. The two had been trying to come up with a new agreement after their previous one expired a month ago.
“CBS and AT&T regret any inconvenience to their customers and viewers and thank them for their patience,” the two firms noted through a joint statement.
The disagreement between the two companies affected millions of subscribers in the U.S
The dispute led to the blackout which affected 6.6 million people subscribed to AT&T’s content service. Worse still is that the blackout lasted for 20 days which is a considerable amount of time. CBS increased the fees it charges for its channels after it decided to stop focusing heavily on advertising revenue. 17 cities in the U.S were affected including Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York.
The higher fees that CBS Corp has been charging were the source of the contention but it looks like the two countries have settled on a deal that will be good for the both of them and the customers. AT&T is also still locked in negotiations with Nexstar Media Group which is based in Irving. Nextar owns and operates 174 TV stations across the U.S. The company has 30 TV station in Texas. AT&T is optimistic that the negotiations will yield favorable results.