TEGNA’s Retrans Tussle With AT&T Ends Happily


Some 2 1/2 weeks after TEGNA-owned stations faded to black on AT&T-owned DirecTV lineups across the U.S., customers of the direct broadcast satellite company that many believe will be gobbled up by Dish can now tune to such stations as WUSA-9 in Washington, D.C.; WTSP-10 in Tampa; and KGW-8 in Portland, Ore.

A new retransmission consent agreement has be reached, resolving a matter that yielded much subscriber ire and many letters to RBR+TVBR.

The companies revealed that a new multi-year retrans deal was signed on Sunday morning (12/20) — just in time for National Football League coverage.

All TEGNA stations immediately returned to any impacted AT&T homes.

“AT&T and TEGNA regret any inconvenience to their customers and viewers and thank them for their patience,” the companies jointly stated in a statement distributed at 9:50am Eastern.

The agreement includes retransmission consent for all 64 TEGNA-owned stations serving 51 Nielsen markets including Atlanta, Charlotte, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Phoenix, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa and Washington, among many others. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The stations impacted by the “blackout,” created by the lack of a new retransmission consent agreement between TEGNA and the AT&T-owned DBS provider, included 63 television stations in 51 markets. According to TEGNA, it is the largest owner of top 4 affiliates in the top 25 markets among independent station groups, reaching approximately
39% of all television households nationwide.

While this impasse is a significant one, the biggest battle of the season is still unresolved: Nexstar Media Group and Dish remain at odds over their own respective retrans consent accord.