AT&T, Disney Continue Talks After Blackout Deadline

AT&T and The Walt Disney Co. continued discussions on a new retransmission consent agreement on Saturday, avoiding a blackout of Disney channels that could have begun Friday night.

The message above appears on the website of Disney-owned WLS-TV, Chicago.

Disney this week began warning viewers that if they were subscribers of DirecTV, Uverse or AT&T TV Now they could lose ABC, ESPN, Freeform and other channels plus local programming in key markets including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

AT&T recently ended months-long blackouts involving CBS and Nexstar Media stations.

John Stephens, AT&T’s CFO, told an investor conference on Wednesday that as a result of those blackouts and a price increase for its pay-TV services, it could lose an extra 300,000 to 350,000 subscribers.

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.