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Starz Strikes Carriage Agreement With AT&T

By | Monday February 13, 2012 @ 9:14am PST

We may see a lot of announcements like this one as Starz’ online distribution agreement with Netflix approaches its February 28 expiration. The new deal with AT&T expands U-verse’s opportunity to stream Starz programming online. The companies didn’t disclose financial terms.

Dallas, TX and Englewood, Colo. – February 13, 2012 – AT&T and Starz Entertainment, LLC, announced today that the companies agreed to a multi-platform, multi-year extension of the Starz-AT&T U-verse® TV affiliation agreement. The extension covers Starz Entertainment’s premium channels, HD, on-demand, and authenticated online services.

AT&T U-verse TV subscribers enjoy currently 19 Starz Entertainment premium channels and feeds; all 14 distinct STARZ and ENCORE channels (including ENCORE ESPAÑOL), West Coast feeds of the flagship STARZ and ENCORE channels, plus INDIEPLEX, RETROPLEX, and the recently launched MOVIEPLEX.

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UPDATE: Rainbow And AT&T Ink New Deal, ‘Mad Men’ Season Saved On AT&T U-Verse

Nellie Andreeva

at&t u-verseAT&T and Rainbow Media just announced they have reached an new carriage agreement for Rainbow’s AMC, IFC and WEtv on AT&T U-verse 16 hours after their most recent extension expired and 10 days before the fourth season premiere of Mad Men on AMC. Here is AT&T’s statement:

We’re very satisfied that we were able to reach the fair deal we wanted for our customers — one that includes the right content, across platforms, at prices that are in line with the marketplace, and that helps us with important strategic content initiatives.

Rainbow Media’s statement might shed light on a key issue in the two sides’ negotiations as it mentions the company’s Sundance Channel as a fourth channel alongside AMC, IFC and WEtv that is covered by the new agreement.

We’re pleased to have reached an agreement with AT&T for AMC, WE tv, IFC and Sundance Channel that truly recognizes the value of our networks.

AT&T had complained that Rainbow “had been trying to force the renegotiation of a contract for one of their other channels that is not yet expired,” something that AT&T initially resisted.

PREVIOUS 9AM: The midnight deadline came and went, but Rainbow Media’s AMC, IFC and WEtv stayed on AT&T U-verse systems as the two sides continue to negotiate a new carriage agreement. The two companies also went in silent mode as they try to hammer a new deal for some 2.3 million U-verse subscribers. Meanwhile, one of those … Read More »

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Carriage Wars: Rainbow vs AT&T Down To Wire, ABC vs Time Warner Looming

Nellie Andreeva

at&t u-verseIf you are an AT&T U-Verse subscriber, you may lose AMC, IFC and WE tv programming at midnight tonight. Hours before the extension between Cablevision-owned Rainbow Media and AT&T is set to expire, the two sides still appear at impasse, issuing dueling statements.

“Our executives have been at AT&T U-Verse offices for several weeks, doing everything possible to reach an agreement that will keep AMC’s Mad Men, and other programming from AMC, WE tv and IFC available to their customers,” Rainbow Media said. “We have agreements with every other television provider in the country and have never had our networks dropped in more than 25 years.”

AT&T was more specific in addressing the sticking issue, a rates hike pursued by Rainbow Media, and repeatedly stressed that Rainbow is owned by AT&T competitor Cablevision. “We are making every effort to reach a fair agreement and continue providing these channels to our customers. It’s unfortunate that Rainbow Media, owned by Cablevision, is clearly not negotiating in good faith, is trying to charge significantly more than the average of what our TV competitors pay for these channels, and is acting in a way that harms competition and limits consumer choice,” AT&T said. The company added they’ve made “numerous proposals.” “However, Cablevision’s Rainbow Media has rejected each of them, instead making unreasonable proposals that give it an unfair competitive advantage,” AT&T said.

As part of its campaign, AT&T has launched a Web site, Fighting4you, an often-employed tool by … Read More »

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Carriage Dispute Threatens ‘Mad Men’ Debut

Nellie Andreeva

UPDATED: Some 2.3 million subscribers in the country may lose AMC next week, just days before the Season 4 premiere of the network’s flagship drama Mad Men, which returns July 25. Broadband TV operator AT&T U-verse could drop Rainbow Media’s AMC, WE tv and IFC when the companies’ current carriage deal expires at midnight on July 14 unless a new agreement is reached. AT&T and Rainbow had been negotiating unsuccessfully for the past six months on a new contract to replace their previous one, which expired on July 1. The two sides agreed to a two-week extension but are now at an impasse. Rainbow has started notifying its viewers about the possibility of its 3 channels going dark on AT&T systems. “AT&T is acting in an aggressive manner that puts their corporate interests ahead of their customers,” AMC said in a statement. “We are negotiating in good faith with AT&T and are hopeful that we can reach an agreement as soon as possible so that our viewers don’t lose out.”

Meanwhile, AT&T argued that AMC’s demands are unreasonable. “Based on aggregate data we obtained from third party industry sources and our own subscribers, some of the Rainbow channels are among the least-watched and most overpriced per viewer compared to other major programming providers,” an AT&T spokeswoman said. “They’re also trying to force the renegotiation of a contract for one of their other channels that is not yet expired and force us to carry a new channel that wasn’t even formally presented … Read More »

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