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Update: AT&T, Hallmark Point Fingers Over Impasse - Broadcasting & Cable

Update: AT&T, Hallmark Point Fingers Over Impasse

Unclear whether talks will resume anytime soon
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RELATED:Hallmark Channels Go Dark On AT&T U-verse

As of late
afternoon Wednesday, negotiations had not resumed between Hallmark and
AT&T over the latter's carriage of the former's channels, but the
sparring continued.

"We are not
negotiating now," said a Hallmark spokesperson. "We gave AT&T our
last proposal, and they dropped us. We are willing to continue to
negotiate but they have not responded to our last proposal."

Hallmark had
said it was willing to grant an extension of carriage beyond the 12:01
a.m. Sept. 1 date when the existing carriage agreement expired, but
AT&T says it was Hallmark that prompted the take-down.
AT&T replaced the channels with Starz Kids & Family and Turner
Classic Movies.

"AT&T
offered to extend the current deal and Hallmark rejected that offer,"
said a spokesperson, who had no comment on whether talks would resume
anytime soon.
Responding
to AT&T, Hallmark Channels President Bill Abbott put the onus back
on the telco for viewer dislocations in a release.

"AT&T's charges that Hallmark Channels pulled the plug on our own
networks and disadvantaged our own loyal viewers by not negotiating a
fair deal for them are not true," he said. "Hallmark Channels presented a
number of proposals in the course of the negotiations,
which were fair and reasonable and, we felt, addressed AT&T's
concerns. Unfortunately, AT&T dropped our signals and we are at an
impasse."

The statement did not
directly address AT&T's assertion that it had been willing to accept
an extension that Hallmark was not, but a Hallmark spokeswoman said Hallmark did not offer the extension because "because they had already sent us the termination letter. "

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