Disney and AT&T Reach Carriage Agreement in Principle

The Walt Disney Co. reached an agreement in principle on a new retransmission consent and carriage deal with AT&T that would  keep networks including ABC, ESPN and the Disney Channel glowing in homes with DirecTV, U-verse and AT&T TV Now.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In the past few months AT&T has been involved in carriage disputes with CBS and Nexstar Media Group that have resulted in lengthy blackouts. The company’s CFO said that the blackouts--along with some price increases--contributed to the loss of between 300,000 and 350,000 subscribers in the quarter.

On Friday, another large station owner, Sinclair Broadcast Group, said it was operating under a temporary extension with AT&T and that its stations could go dark on Sept. 28.

Disney began warning AT&T subscribers of a potential blackout on Sept. 10.

“Our contract with AT&T for the ABC, ESPN, Disney and Freeform networks is due to expire soon, so we have a responsibility to make our viewers aware of the potential loss of our programming. However, we remain fully committed to reaching a deal and are hopeful we can do so,” Disney said in a statement at the time.

Jon Lafayette

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.