WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, ATVA responded to Tuesday’s blackout of more than 60 local stations in 52 markets by TEGNA, impacting AT&T subscribers across the country.
“It is alarming, albeit unsurprising, that TEGNA is profiteering off of the need for local news at a time as critical as during a national pandemic,” stated Jessica Kendust, ATVA spokesperson.
TEGNA pulled its signal from DirectTV and AT&T U-verse customers at 7 P.M. ET on Dec. 1, after the existing retransmission consent agreement between TEGNA and AT&T had expired. The stations TEGNA pulled from subscribers include ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, The CW, and a number of local and independent stations.
This blackout comes on the heels of TEGNA’s record-breaking Q3 revenues.
“Following a self-reported revenue of $738 million in 2020’s third quarter, TEGNA’s demand for astronomical retransmission fees on the backs of American consumers is baffling,” stated Kendust. “ATVA is disappointed that TEGNA is ignoring the public interest to weaponize blackouts as a negotiation bargaining chip.”
The American Television Alliance (ATVA) brings together an unprecedented coalition of consumer groups, cable, satellite, telephone companies, and independent programmers to raise awareness about the risk TV viewers face as broadcasters increasingly threaten service disruptions that would deny viewers access to the programs they and their families enjoy.