AT&T, Viacom Continue Negotiations

Viacom’s nearly two dozen channels were still available to AT&T customers Saturday, hours after a midnight carriage deadline passed without a deal.

Viacom networks like MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon were set to go dark at midnight to about 24 million DirecTV, DirecTV Now, Uverse and AT&T Watch customers if a carriage agreement could not be reached. Executives for both sides were hunkered down all night Friday and into Saturday morning at DirecTV headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., trying to work out a deal. And though no pact was reached by the deadline, an extension was granted to keep the channels live while talks continued.

“Channels up. Continuing to extend. Still negotiating,” was the message from AT&T via email at 8:05 am Saturday. The hope is that a deal can be reached that will satisfy both parties without resulting in a service disruption.