UPDATE: (7/11/2019) Congressman Ralph Abraham is calling on AT&T/DirecTV to end their impasse with Nexstar, the owner of KARD FOX 14.
In a letter to AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, Dr. Abraham highlighted the approaching tropical weather as an urgent reason to come to an agreement. “Many Louisianans rely heavily on local programming, which includes weather information during hurricane season.” says the Congressman. “Having access to locally broadcast news and weather can mean a world of difference during times of emergency.”
FOX 14 has been off DirecTV’s lineup since AT&T pulled all Nexstar stations off the satellite service.
Dr. Abraham also sent a letter to Nexstar CEO Perry Sook, urging the same desire to find middle ground. “I believe it is in the best interest of all parties that a timely and amicable solution be reached.” says Dr. Abraham.
UPDATE: (7/10/2019) — Louisiana’s Senator John Kennedy is joining the voices from Washington, D.C. calling on DirecTV to bring back KARD FOX 14 to DirecTV and AT&T U-verse’s lineup, as well as all the other Nexstar stations.
In a letter directed to AT&T’s CEO, Senator Kennedy cites the probable impact to consumers in Louisiana at the height of hurricane season, stating “I am concerned that your failure to reach an agreement is negatively impacting Louisiana families. I am especially concerned about customers losing access to up-to-date weather information in the event that the tropical depression currently forming in the Gulf of Mexico turns into a hurricane.” In closing, Senator Kennedy requests of AT&T, “I encourage you to accept Nexstar’s offer of a short-term extension while you resolve your differences.”
You can see Senator Kennedy and other congress members statements at the bottom of this article.
DIRECTV and/or AT&T U-verse subscribers no longer have access to KARD. Contact DIRECTV and AT&T U-verse today at 800-288-2020 and tell DIRECTV and AT&T U-verse to “Bring back my FOX 14!”
Call DIRECTV / AT&T U-verse Customer Service at one of these numbers – 855-937-9468 / 800-288-2020 / 800-531-5000
Q: What is happening?
A: DIRECTV and AT&T U-verse subscribers no longer have access to KARD station as of midnight CST on July 3, 2019. DIRECTV and AT&T U-verse has/have yet to reach a new distribution agreement to allow the cable television provider the right to continue to air your favorite new stories around the ArkLaMiss area.
Q: What other programming could I miss?
A: You no longer have access to your local news, emergency service updates and your favorite shows such as the Women’s World Cup Finals on July 7th, NFL on FOX, including Thursday Night Football, the Primetime Emmy Awards and the new season of The Masked Singer.
Q: Where will KARD programming still be available?
A: No other cable or satellite company is affected; only DIRECTV and AT&T U-verse customers have had their favorite news, comedies, dramas, and sports taken away. Other providers are available including DISH (855-898-6730) and over-the-air with digital antenna.
Q: Are you still negotiating with DIRECTV and/or AT&T U-verse?
A: We were negotiating, and offered multiple times to extend our current deal while we vigorously attempted to provide both sides more time to reach a fair agreement. Unfortunately, DIRECTV and AT&T U-verse continued to deny our request and that is why your service was abruptly interrupted.
Q: What can I do about this situation?
A: You have choices. Call 800-288-2020 and demand they bring back your favorite local news source! You can also contact other local providers – including DISH (855-898-6730) – and switch to make sure you are treated fairly and get the programming you want.
Below is the full press release from Nexstar, the owner of KARD FOX 14, including Senator John Neely Kennedy’s statement:
IRVING, Texas – United States Senators John Thune of South Dakota and John Kennedy of Louisiana join Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal as well as legislators from West Virginia, Ohio, South Dakota, Massachusetts, New York and Alabama in issuing letters urging direct broadcast satellite service provider DIRECTV and AT&T U-verse to immediately restore carriage of Nexstar-owned stations.
In his July 8, 2019 letter Senator Thune stated, “I strongly encourage AT&T/DIRECTV to provide carriage of KELO-TV and KCLO-TV through August 2, 2019, as requested by Nexstar, so that the parties can continue negotiations without impacting consumers’ ability to view their local news coverage in the affected broadcast markets.” Similarly, in a letter directed to AT&T’s CEO, Senator Kennedy cites the probable impact to consumers in Louisiana at the height of hurricane season, stating “I am concerned that your failure to reach an agreement is negatively impacting Louisiana families. I am especially concerned about customers losing access to up-to-date weather information in the event that the tropical depression currently forming in the Gulf of Mexico turns into a hurricane.” In closing, Senator Kennedy requests of AT&T, “I encourage you to accept Nexstar’s offer of a short-term extension while you resolve your differences.”
In New York, U.S. Congressman Anthony Brindisi issued a public statement calling on “…cable giant AT&T to negotiate in good faith with local broadcasters to continue to deliver local programming to their viewers. As thousands of Upstate New Yorkers lost access to their local television station this weekend, Brindisi went to bat for the local viewers. Local television provides critical programming for folks all across our district,” Brindisi said. “These blackouts are a public safety issue. Many New Yorkers use local television to find out about breaking news, traffic accidents, and important weather events. These blackouts need to end.”
Effective 11:59 p.m. CT on July 3, 2019, AT&T/DIRECTV dropped the network and local community programming for Nexstar-owned stations impacting viewers in 97 markets across the country. The action follows AT&T/DIRECTV’s refusal to accept Nexstar’s offer for an extension which would have allowed viewers in Louisiana as well as all other affected markets to view their favorite network shows, special events, sports, local news and other programming while the parties continue to negotiate.
Since AT&T removed scores of local Nexstar Broadcasting television stations, viewers across the United States have expressed their outrage at AT&T/DIRECTV complaining about the loss of critical and lifesaving information as well as the loss of holiday programming and the US Women’s National Soccer Team’s historic World Cup finals game win which brought Team USA their fourth title. Since AT&T’s removal of the Nexstar stations, viewers have been denied access to over 2,400 hours of local news. Tonight, viewers in 20 local markets will be unable to watch the 2019 Major League Baseball All-Star Game through their AT&T/DIRECTV subscriptions.
Nexstar continues to negotiate in good faith to establish a mutually agreeable contract with AT&T/DIRECTV and has offered AT&T/DIRECTV the same rates it offered to other large distribution partners with whom it completed successful negotiations with in 2019 to date. Nexstar stands by its offer to permit AT&T to relaunch its stations on DIRECTV and AT&T Uverse through August 8 while the parties continue negotiations.
A little more than a year after putting DIRECTV together with Time Warner, AT&T appears intent on using its new market power to prioritize its own content at the expense of consumers, and insisting on unreasonable and extreme terms that are inconsistent with the market. As measured by stock market capitalizations, AT&T is approximately 50 times larger than Nexstar. As Senator Blumenthal noted in his letter dated July 5, “This cutoff seems to have the sole purpose of enhancing DirecTV bargaining leverage – with severe harm to Connecticut consumers.”
The only conclusion that can be drawn from DIRECTV/AT&T’s refusal to accept Nexstar’s offer of an extension is that rather than working on behalf of their subscribers, AT&T-DIRECTV continues to raise prices while reducing channels and content offerings. AT&T/DIRECTV is routinely involved in disputes with content providers and following its 2015 acquisition by AT&T, DIRECTV has dropped or threatened to black out network and local community programming from Viacom, SJL Broadcasting/Lilly Broadcasting, Deerfield Media, GoCom Media of Illinois, Howard Stirk Holdings, Mercury Broadcast Group, MPS Media, Nashville License Holdings, Roberts Media, Second Generation of Iowa and Waitt Broadcasting, among others.
Over the past 20 months alone, Nexstar has successfully renewed more than 390 distribution agreements with cable providers for the carriage of Nexstar’s stations. Nexstar deeply regrets DIRECTV/AT&T’s decision to deprive viewers in the affected markets of broadcasts of leading network content from ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CW, and MyNetworkTV as well as local news and other programming produced specifically for these local communities and will continue to try to reach a fair agreement with AT&T/DIRECTV and allow its viewers to receive their local stations again.
Consumers and viewers affected by AT&T/DIRECTV’s blackout can contact AT&T/DIRECTV directly at 208 South Akard Street, Dallas, TX 75202 and by phone at 855-567-1569 or 210-821-4105. Viewers affected by the loss of service from DIRECTV have several alternatives to continue watching their favorite shows including local cable providers, DISH, over-the-air, certain subscription streaming television services, and services such as Verizon’s FIOS.
A full copy of Senator Thune’s letter is available here: Senator Thune Letter July 2019.
A full copy of Senator Kennedy’s letter to AT&T’s CEO is available here: Senator Kennedy Letter July 2019.
Congressman Brindisi’s statement regarding the matter is available at: https://brindisi.house.gov/media/press-releases/brindisi-calls-cable-company-end-blackouts-behalf-local-consumers.
About Nexstar Media Group, Inc.
Nexstar Media Group is a leading diversified media company that leverages localism to bring new services and value to consumers and advertisers through its traditional media, digital and mobile media platforms. Nexstar owns, operates, programs or provides sales and other services to 174 full power television stations and related digital multicast signals reaching 100 markets or nearly 39% of all U.S. television households. Nexstar’s portfolio includes primary affiliates of NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, MyNetworkTV and The CW. Nexstar’s community portal websites offer additional hyper-local content and verticals for consumers and advertisers, allowing audiences to choose where, when and how they access content while creating new revenue opportunities
This communication includes forward-looking statements. We have based these forward-looking statements on our current expectations and projections about future events. Forward-looking statements include information preceded by, followed by, or that includes the words “guidance,” “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “could,” or similar expressions. For these statements, Nexstar claims the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The forward-looking statements contained in this communication, concerning, among other things, future financial performance, including changes in net revenue, cash flow and operating expenses, involve risks and uncertainties, and are subject to change based on various important factors, including the impact of changes in national and regional economies, the ability to service and refinance our outstanding debt, successful integration of acquired television stations and digital businesses (including achievement of synergies and cost reductions), pricing fluctuations in local and national advertising, future regulatory actions and conditions in the television stations’ operating areas, competition from others in the broadcast television markets, volatility in programming costs, the effects of governmental regulation of broadcasting, industry consolidation, technological developments and major world news events. Nexstar undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. In light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the forward-looking events discussed in this communication might not occur. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release. For more details on factors that could affect these expectations, please see Nexstar’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.