RFD-TV Backs AT&T-Time Warner Deal

Says Stephenson kept word about commitment to rural programming
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Rural lifestyle network RFD-TV said Thursday it supports AT&T's proposed merger with Time Warner.

RFD-TV founder Patrick Gottsch pointed to the pledge that AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson made back when it bought DirecTV to expand rural services, saying: "He has kept his word."

Related: Senate Judiciary Committee Slates Dec. 7 Hearing on AT&T-Time Warner Deal

“RFD-TV has not hesitated to oppose transactions involving multichannel video programming distributors when those transactions threatened to harm rural America or senior citizens," said Gottsch. " While some other MVPDs recently have turned their backs on rural America and senior citizens by actually removing popular programming, AT&T has not. Based on AT&T’s track record, RFD-TV firmly believes that the AT&T-Time Warner transaction will prove to be positive for rural America and senior citizens.

RFD-TV fans have been known to flood the FCC merger comment dockets concerned they might lose access to the channel.

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A year ago, fresh off of an expanded carriage agreement with Charter, RFD-TV become something of a cheerleader for that cable operator's proposed merger with Time Warner Cable and Bright House.

"RFD-TV will continue to lead efforts [to promote independent programming] and support the FCC’s actions to adopt much-needed regulations to ensure a level playing field for independent programmers as they seek reasonable distribution and carriage terms to provide vital programming for under-served populations that are being ignored by certain multimedia conglomerates," Gotsch said after announcing RFD-TV's support for AT&T's latest deal.

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