WISC-TV, the CBS affiliate in Madison, Wisc., has been blacked out to U-verse subscribers because of a retransmission consent dispute between station owner Morgan Murphy Media and AT&T, which owns U-verse.
AT&T said it was disappointed by the blackout. “We must have Morgan Murphy’s permission to offer WISC-CBS/MNT and asked Morgan Murphy to keep WISC-CBS/MNT available while we conclude a new business agreement privately,” AT&T said in a statement. “Morgan Murphy refused and chose to withhold WISC-CBS/MNT instead. We remain on the side of consumer choice and value, whereas Morgan Murphy is known to withhold its stations to try to increase its fees for free broadcast TV.”
Subscribers to AT&T’s DirecTV and AT&T TV are not affected.
“WISC-TV remains committed to good faith negotiations on a new, fair agreement to provide its popular programming to viewers in southern Wisconsin,” the station said on its website. “We understand this is frustrating for viewers and we are working to find a resolution as soon as possible.”
The station said it is seeking a fair deal. “WISC-TV has negotiated dozens of agreements with other cable and satellite providers, and AT&T U-VERSE has negotiated thousands of agreements. Both parties know what’s fair,” the station said on its website.
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.
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