More than 120 Nexstar Media Group stations across the country went dark to DirecTV, DirecTV Now and AT&T Uverse TV customers on July 3, after the pay TV giant passed on an extension that would have kept the channels live through Aug. 2.
About 120 Nexstar stations in 97 markets went dark at 11:59 p.m. on July 3, according to the broadcaster, after its offer to extend the agreement until Aug. 2 while negotiations continued, was rejected by DirecTV and Uverse parent AT&T.
“With its long-term record of delivering exemplary service to the local markets where it operates, Nexstar deeply regrets DirecTV/AT&T’s rejection of the extension as it deprives viewers in the affected markets of broadcasts of leading network content from ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CW, and MyNetworkTV as well as local news and other programming produced specifically for these local communities,” Nexstar said in a statement. The broadcaster urged affected viewers to switch to other pay TV providers or access programming over-the-air.
AT&T, on a website set up specifically for such disputes -- tvpromise.att.com -- blamed the blackout on Nexstar’s greed.
“We had hoped to prevent Nexstar from removing its stations from your TV channel lineup,” AT&T said on the tv promise website. “We even offered Nexstar more money to keep their stations available. However, Nexstar simply said no and chose to remove them instead. By doing so, Nexstar has put you in the center of its negotiations.”
This is the second big blackout involving AT&T in less than two months. On May 30, about 17 stations in 14 markets, many managed by mega station group Sinclair Broadcast Group,m went dark to Uverse, DirecTV Now and DirecTV subscribers.