AT&T Reaches Agreement With CW Affiliate in Nashville

Ends disputes with stations working with Sinclair
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AT&T reached a renewal of its retransmission agreement with Nashville License Holdings, which owns the CW affiliate in Nashville, lifting a six-month blackout and ending a dispute that affected a dozen stations that operate under shared service agreements with Sinclair Broadcast Group.

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The most recent deal was completed Tuesday. Financial terms were not disclosed.

In addition to situation with the Sinclair-linked stations, AT&T had long blackouts with CBS and Nexstar. Now, no AT&T subscribers are suffering blackouts in their local markets. The blackouts helped contribute to a decline in subscribers to AT&T DirecTV unit during the third quarter.

On Nov. 8, the FCC upheld a complaint by AT&T which charged that many of the stations working with Sinclair were not negotiating in good faith as required by the law.

At that point, some of the stations groups had signed new agreements with AT&T.

Waitt Broadcasting’s CBS affiliate in Sioux City, Iowa signed a new extension two weeks after the FCC ruling on Friday, Nov. 22.

MPS Media re-signed its NBC affiliate in Gainesville, Fla. and three CW affiliates in Chattanooga, Tenn,, Wilkes Barre, Pa. and Tallahassee, Fla. on Nov. 17. Mercury Broadcast Group’s MyNetwork station in Wichita-Hutchinson, Kan. returned on Nov. 14. Howard Stirk Holdings, owner of the NBC and CW affiliates in Flint, Mich. and Myrtle Beach, S.C. reached an agreement Nov. 9. Roberts Media’s NBC affiliate in Eugene, Ore. made a deal with AT&T Nov. 8.

Deerfield Media, the largest of the Sinclair SSA groups, reached an agreement covering six individual ABC, NBC, Fox, CW and MNT affiliates in five cities on Nov. 6, two days before the FCC ruling. Second Generation of Iowa, which owns the Fox affiliate in Cedar Rapids, signed its deal Nov. 1.

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