AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and Hearst have ended their dispute and signed a new transmission accord. The deal allows the customers of DirecTV to watch the Golden Globes and NFL Playoff Games on Sunday because Hearst returns 34 channels. In a joint communication, both the companies expressed regret for the inconvenience caused to the customers and praised their patience. DirecTV customers suffered a blackout in several cities across the nation.
Hearst Television pulled out 34 channels
Hearst TV has earlier pulled out thirty-four channels from AT&T and DirecTV in 26 markets. It has threatened the coverage of NFL Playoffs to several thousand homes. The customers in Louisville KY and Des Moines could lose a chance to watch NFL Wildcard matchup between New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans on CBS tonight.
The customers in eleven other markets are expected to miss the contest between Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks on January 5, 2020. Several TV fans could lose the broadcast of 77th annual Golden Globe Awards on January 5, 2020, on NBC, Hearst TV granted temporary extensions on January 3, 2020, after the retransmission accord consent. The retransmission surged to $11.7 billion in 2019 from $215 million in 2006.
According to a statement from DirecTV, it needs the permission of Hearst TV to offer any of these channels. DirecTV has requested Hearst TV to keep these channels open while the new accord is being finalized. It said Hearst is demanding a much higher amount when compared to the recent deals signed with other prominent broadcasters. However, Hearst said its programming requires continuous financing when compared with other players.
Invested considerable funds
Hearst said it invested significant funds in providing topnotch programs to its viewers. DirecTV is asking rights to those channels at reduced rates when compared to the market price.
AT&T reduces the height of the broadband antenna
AT&T is fighting the denial of the installation of a broadband antenna in Placer County. The zoning administrator of Placer County in a hearing in October 2019 has rejected the application to erect an 88 Ft. cellular antenna tower. Residents argued that new cellular tower could reduce the value of properties and also cited the dangers of electromagnetic radiation. An associate planner at the planning services division, Bennett Smithhart, said the rules of FCC do not allow rejection on the grounds of radiation. AT&T has even reduced the height of the tower to 85 Ft.