Cable television

AT&T plans complaint against TV stations over blackout disputes

AT&T's logo on a sign
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AT&T will lodge a formal complaint with regulators against television station owners that, the company says, are refusing to negotiate terms for channels to be carried by its subsidiary DirecTV, resulting in blackouts for viewers.

Why it matters: The Federal Communications Commission generally does not intervene in private negotiations between programmers and the pay-TV stations that carry their content. But regulators could get involved when there are claims, as AT&T is making here, that parties are acting in bad faith.

TV networks battle for the future of live

illustration of an old tv and a hand inserting a quarter at the top
Illustration: Axios/Rebecca Zisser

Despite the onslaught of bad headlines around cord cutting and the death of traditional TV, Madison Avenue hasn't given up on the big cable and broadcast networks just yet.

Driving the news: Despite viewership declines, Variety's Brian Steinberg reports that ad commitments saw an increase of 5.2% to more than $20.7 billion in 2018, citing data from Media Dynamics, a media consultancy.