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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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So Robert Redford Did It…

redfordgreenstill.jpgSo the Sundance Channel – which showcases Robert Redford’s annual film festival and reaches about 26 million viewers devoted to indie, world cinema, documentaries, short films, and original programming — has been sold for $496 million, which was the top end of the price that it was expected to fetch. As expected, Cablevision’s Rainbow Media, which already owns AMC and WE: Women’s Entertainment and the Independent Film Channel, made the deal with the three co-owners: it’s basically a stock swap with GE (whose stake is 55%)but does put cash in the hands of both CBS Inc (35%) and Redford (10%). In yet more media consolidation, it gives Rainbow Media more cable clout as it already owns the AMC Network and WE: Women’s Entertainment networks and the Independent Film Channel as well as IFC films. But Wall Street analysts can;t make up their mind about the deal. Richard Greenfield, an analyst with Pali Capital, told Bloomberg: ”It’s kind of the worst of all possible worlds. The $500 million is as much as all the free cash flow they will generate this year.” But earlier he described it as “a positive long-term strategic move” for Cablevision.

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