AT&T fortified its carriage of African-American targeted network TV One, extending its carriage deal with the entertainment service through 2026.
The 11-year extension deal doesn't hurt AT&T's chances of final approval of the DirecTV deal given that diversity is one of the FCC's important goals and diversity commitments are a standard condition.
The agreement also helps insulate AT&T from charges of racism lobbied by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson this past weekend as carriage negotiations between AT&T and Starz come down to the wire. Jackson is executive producer of Starz' drama series Power, which draws a majority of African-American viewers.
“We are excited to be able to continue this relationship with TV One and renew our commitment to offering diverse programming to our customers,” said Ryan Smith, vice president of Content, AT&T U-verse. “This agreement is a win for AT&T U-verse customers.”
Added TV one executive vice president of content distribution and marketing Michelle Rice: “The extension of TV One’s renewal agreement with AT&T highlights the increasing value of the network, which continues to deliver record-breaking ratings driven by an array of compelling new original series, movies and specials. Our renewal agreement drives home our mutual commitment to delivering high-quality content to AT&T customers. We are excited to continue our relationship with AT&T in serving this very important audience.”
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