Another contract fight has broken out amongst television and entertainment giants, leaving customers throughout Sumner County and other areas of Middle Tennessee without their paid access to ABC and shows like “Bachelorette” and “The Good Doctor.”
AT&T U-verse and AT&T affiliate DIRECTV last week dropped content provided by Nexstar Broadcasting Inc., which includes WKRN, the ABC affiliate in Middle Tennessee.
The outage is reminiscent over a contract fight that began New Year’s Eve 2018 between Nextstar and TDS Telecom, which left some cable customers without WKRN and several other channels until Jan. 31 of this year.
WNAB-CW also reportedly was removed by AT&T and DIRECTV.
WKRN posted a story on its website on July 4 giving Nexstar’s side of the story and urging customers to contact the service providers.
“DIRECTV and AT&T U-verse subscribers no longer have access to WKRN station as of midnight CST on July 3, 2019. DIRECTV and AT&T U-verse did not accept a contract extension offer by Nexstar Media, parent company of WKRN-TV for the right to continue to air your favorite news stories around the Nashville area. By rejecting an extension for continued negotiations and to avoid a disruption of service, AT&T and DIRECTV took away content that you pay for and was included with your monthly subscription. They are no longer providing the content you initially signed up for when you subscribed to their service,” the story said.
Nexstar said they had offered to extend the contract until Aug. 2 while negotiations continued.
Representatives for Nexstar and DIRECTV could not immediately be reached for comment.
An AT&T representative issued a statement that read, “AT&T remains on the side of customer choice and value. Our goal is always to deliver the content our customers want at a value that makes sense to them. Nexstar and Nashville License Holdings are only on the side of gouging their affiliates and consumers for free over-the-air stations that are viewed less and less each day.”
AT&T website tvpromise.att.com also offers alternative content viewing ideas and carries the same statement provided by the AT&T spokesperson.
“We had hoped to prevent Nexstar from removing its stations from your TV channel lineup,” AT&T’s website said. “We even offered Nexstar more money to keep their stations available. However, Nexstar simply said no and chose to remove them instead. By doing so, Nexstar has put you in the center of its negotiations.”
TV customers may go online to ABC’s website after shows have aired to stream them. Some residents posted on Facebook that they had installed digital TV antennas as well.