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U-verse, Tribune Retrans Deal Done

AT&T's U-verse and Tribune have resolved their retrans impasse with a new deal that includes carriage of cable net WGN America to U-verse and DirecTV subs, which AT&T recently acquired.

“AT&T and Tribune Media have reached a multi-year agreement covering Tribune Media’s television stations and broad distribution of its cable network, WGN America, to AT&T U-verse and DIRECTV subscribers,” the two sides planned to say in a statement being released Monday.

An Oct. 21 deadline for their extension on talks had passed quietly without incident and without any channels being pulled down. The retransmission consent impasse could potentially have affected 24 stations in 19 markets, according to Tribune.

By Oct. 23, what had been pulled down were Tribune crawls on the station websites warning of possible blackouts and the sides had continued to talk, according to a Tribune spokesperson.

The two sides have been extending the deadline repeatedly as they continued to try to hammer out a new deal. The previous contract expired at the end of September.

WGN America has been making some waves with original programming, notably the Emmy-winning Manhattan, whose second season debuted Oct. 13.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.