With three great-grandchildren living with her and no internet connection at home, Goldia Harmon would hate to lose access to two of her favorite local television stations. But Ms. Harmon was waiting Friday evening for WTVC NewsChannel 9 and WDSI FOX Chattanooga to go dark as the deadline passed for two communications giants — Sinclair Broadcasting and AT&T — to reach an agreement on retransmission rates. "I don't want to pay for something I'm not going to get," said Ms. Harmon, a DirecTV subscriber who has lived in rural Lookout Mountain, Georgia, since 1971. At issue are retransmission rates, the amount per subscriber that cable or satellite providers pay television providers for the content they get from local channels. The negotiations had already been extended five weeks past their original deadline, and talks continued into Friday evening as the deadline was extended to midnight. Throughout the week, Sinclair warned AT&T DirecTV, AT&T TV Now and U-verse … [Read more...] about Deadline extended on TV negotiations for WTVC, Fox and AT&T
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Sep 10, 6:54 AM EDT Newsletter Signup BusinessTechnologyWorldNationalMedia & CultureOpinionSportsLuxury Business By Stephen Lovely 09/10/19 AT 6:50 AM The rise of streaming video has been bad news for legacy pay-TV services. Cable and satellite providers can slow the bleeding with internet and phone bundling, but the trends are clear: Legacy pay-TV is losing ground quarter after quarter, year after year. If multichannel live TV is to survive at all, it will have to do so in the streaming world.What will that look like? Early efforts like Dish's (NASDAQ:DISH) Sling TV and Sony's PlayStation Now offered a vision of a slimmed-down channel bundle with an ultra-cheap price tag. They and their competitors were soon known as "skinny bundles." AT&T (NYSE:T) has tried its hand in that skinny bundle market, and it has not always gone well. Now, AT&T is taking a different tack with a bundle that isn't so skinny at all.The service is … [Read more...] about AT&T TV Looks A Little Too Much Like Traditional Cable
Now, it's planning to compete with Netflix and an upcoming Disney streaming service by launching a separate service built around WarnerMedia shows and movies, including what's on HBO. HBO Now will continue to exist as a separate streaming service.Breaking down walls between WarnerMedia's individual brand empires could result in layoffs and save the company money. But more importantly, it will help spark more ideas and thus more video overall for AT&T to distribute and sell ads against, CFRA Research analyst Keith Snyder said."They want a lot more content coming out of Warner," he said. "That's going to help them launch the streaming service and go up against Disney. They really need to start generating more content. ... This reorganization is aiming at that more than anything."The company tried to emphasize that the reorganization was more about content strategy and less about layoffs. "I don't think there are big massive layoffs coming," Greenblatt said in an interview with trade … [Read more...] about AT&T’s shakeup at WarnerMedia aims to emphasize streaming over cable networks
AT&T Inc. beat back another effort by the U.S. to undo its purchase of Time Warner, cementing an $85 billion deal to help it compete with Netflix Inc. The Justice Department failed to establish that a lower-court judge made a clear error when he rejected the government's case that AT&T should be blocked from buying Time Warner on antitrust grounds. Pending any further appeal, the ruling ends the Trump administration's attempt to unravel a tie-up the U.S. said would lead to higher prices for pay-TV subscribers around the country."The government's objections that the district court misunderstood and misapplied economic principles and clearly erred in rejecting the quantitative model are unpersuasive," the court said in a 35-page ruling.Tuesday's decision by a panel of three D.C. Circuit judges inflicts another loss on Makan Delrahim, the head of the Justice Department's antitrust division, as he tries to get tough on "vertical" mergers like the 2018 Time Warner deal. His lawsuit … [Read more...] about AT&T beats back government’s antitrust challenge to Time Warner deal
By Drew FitzGerald WSJ Wed., Jan. 30, 2019 Editor’s Note: This article, originally published online Jan. 29, is being republished with portions omitted to correct errors. Prior versions of this article said AT&T Inc. call-center workers sometimes made it difficult for customers to cancel DirecTV service. AT&T disputes that. Those passages were removed because they were based on interviews with former AT&T call-center managers who worked in centers whose primary purpose was to serve customers of other AT&T products, not DirecTV. DirecTV has its own dedicated call centers. Earlier versions also reported on an AT&T customer’s experience with a call center. Those passages have been removed because the customer used AT&T’s U-verse service, not DirecTV. When AT&T Inc. took over DirecTV in 2015, a group of executives from the two companies gathered at Fleming’s steakhouse in El Segundo, Calif., to celebrate the deal. … [Read more...] about AT&T Wants to Be Big in Entertainment. First, It Has a $49 Billion Problem to Fix.