In recent news, AT&T is reported to be planning the end of local CBS affiliate, WHIO-TV, on U-Verse and DirecTV packages, despite of the prolonged negotiations. This means that AT&T U-Verse and DirecTV users will no longer be able to watch WHIO-TV from January 1 starting at 03:00 a.m.
Rob Rohr, who is the General Manager and Market Vice President of WHIO-TV, issued the statement regarding the matter. “I am disappointed that my company and AT&T appear to be reaching an impasse that could lead to a disruption in WHIO-TV’s service for AT&T U-verse and DirecTV subscribers,” Rohr said. “In just the past few weeks, we have reached agreements with some of the largest video distributors in the country. At this point, every distributor besides AT&T/DirecTV has reached a long-term agreement to continue carrying WHIO-TV.”
“We are asking only that AT&T/DirecTV offer a fair deal that adequately values WHIO-TV’s award-winning news, sports, entertainment, weather and traffic programming,” the statement further added. “The fees cable and satellite companies pay us go to fund these important local services. Accepting unreasonable fees from AT&T/DirecTV would lead to less local news, less local sports, less local weather and less community involvement by WHIO-TV.”
By law, WHIO-TV should negotiate the carriage deals and agreements with satellite TV firms like AT&T U-Verse and DirecTV, and usually, the deals are made without any disruption to the service. Many negotiations of agreement have been done with minimal disruptions, but this time, AT&T U-Verse and DirecTV has not reached a market-based deal to carry WHIO-TV.
The existing agreement between WHIO-TV and AT&T will expire at 3 a.m. on New Year’s morning, and if a deal is not made before the date, WHIO-TV will be dropped from U-Verse and DirecTV packages. However, viewers can still watch WHIO-TV over the air.
Cox Media Group officials said that viewers should call AT&T U-Verse and DirecTV and let them know that they pay much money to watch WHIO-TV. Reports say that WHIO-TV will continue negotiations with DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse and the updates will be published on their official website as the negotiations progress.