Wisconsin Station Goes Dark to U-verse Customers

Morgan Murphy Media’s WISC-TV, a CBS affiliate in Madison, Wisc., went dark to AT&T U-verse customers on Jan. 8 after the parties failed to renew a retransmission consent agreement.

According to the WISC website, the station went dark at 7 p.m. on Jan. 8. AT&T’s DirecTV and AT&T TV Now customers were not affected.

“We’re disappointed to see Morgan Murphy Media suspend WISC-CBS/MNT from our local U-verse customers’ lineups,” AT&T said in a statement. “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. 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. ...We share our Madison U-verse customers’ frustration, regret any inconvenience and appreciate their patience while we work to settle this matter as soon as possible.”

On its website, WISC said it was “committed to good faith negotiations on a new, fair agreement to provide its popular programming to viewers in southern Wisconsin.”

The service disruption comes days before CBS is scheduled to air the next round of the NFL Playoffs, Saturday’s (Jan. 11) divisional match up between the Tennessee Titans and the Baltimore Ravens.