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Scripps Networks Bumped from U-Verse - Broadcasting & Cable

Scripps Networks Bumped from U-Verse

Fees, use of content led to talks breaking down
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Scripps Networks
Interactive's channels were dropped from AT&T U-Verse TV service Friday
morning.

Both sides said
they were disappointed that negotiations did not result in a deal. In competing
statements, Scripps said it had reached a financial agreement, but AT&T
said Scripps was seeking double the rate it gets from other distributors. 
Both companies also said there was a dispute over the use of content on digital
platforms.

U-verse has about
2.7 million customers. The Scripps networks affected are HGTV, Food Network,
DIY Network, Cooking Channel and Great American Country. It also recently
dropped Hallmark Channel in a subscription fee dispute.

Scripps said it
offered an extension to keep the channels on U-verse, but was turned down.

 "Let me start
by saying this impasse is not about money," said John Lansing, president of
Scripps Networks, in a statement.. "We reached an agreement in principle with
AT&T U-verse on the distribution fees we would receive for these networks well
in advance of last month's contract deadline."

But AT&T has a
different story. "Scripps Networks is demanding that AT&T pay double what
other competitors pay -- including smaller-sized affiliates -- and has yet to
provide a proposal that gives AT&T a choice in the channels we carry and
pay for, despite repeated requests," AT&T said in a statement. "Our team
has been working for weeks to reach a fair agreement, but Scripps Networks
ultimately refused to put in writing key terms that had been agreed upon
verbally, leaving our customers without a fair deal as our extended contract
expired.

The other issues in
the negotiations involved the use of Scripps Networks' video beyond
television. 

"AT&T U-verse
demanded unreasonably broad video rights for emerging media where business
models have not even been established," Lansing said in his statement.
"Accepting their demands would have restrained our ability to deliver our
content to our viewers in new and innovative ways."

AT&T
said "Scripps Networks also wants [a] premium price for inferior access to
their content for our customers on other platforms, even though other
competitors get this at much lower prices. With such an uneven playing field,
they are harming AT&T's ability to provide customers with a new video
choice."

While the Scripps
networks are unavailable, U-verse is offering its subscribers preview channels
of programming from TLC, Bravo, Planet Green, Ion Life and CMT Pure Country.

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