AT&T has reached a deal with Fox to continue delivering its distant TV signals via DirecTV after the June 1 extension date passed by Congress. This means that truckers, tailgaters, RV users and more will still be able to access TV by distant station signals.
AT&T has been negotiating with several networks in hopes to continue delivering these signals. Last year, Congress passed the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act Reauthorization (STELAR) Act which provided a licensing agreement for those signals at a blanket rate until May 31, 2020. Now AT&T has negotiated a deal with Fox so they don’t have to cut off these signals during COVID-19.
“It is critical for our customers to be able to access network TV programming, especially during this global pandemic,” said AT&T EVP Federal Relations Tim McKone. “With this agreement, essential workers, like those on oil rigs and long-haul truckers, can stay connected with news and information. We appreciate FOX for putting the interests of consumers first and we hope the other networks follow suit.”
On a side note, AT&T could have kept the blanket licensing agreement if they had been willing to deliver local signals to a few small markets. Satellite operators have a rule that if they carry one local station they must carry them all, but AT&T doesn’t deliver stations in a dozen small markets. They instead offer an over-the-air option for local stations with its accompanying satellite service.
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