WSB-TV returns for DirecTV and AT&T U-verse customers

This was posted on Sunday, January 1, 2017 by Rodney Ho on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

DirecTV and AT&T U-verse customers in metro Atlanta will regain Channel 2 WSB-TV this evening after the two sides came to an agreement over carriage fees.

WSB-TV and all Cox Media Group television stations had been blacked out since 3:01 a.m. today because of the dispute. Based on feedback from customers, it appeared most viewers had the station back on air before 8 p.m., when a "Bachelor" preview show was set to air.

Cox Media Group released this statement:

"CMG is pleased to announce that it has reached a long-term deal that will restore Channel 2 WSB-TV to your DIRECTV or AT&T U-Verse service.  We regret any inconvenience that was caused by this brief interruption in service and are committed to continue providing Atlanta and North Georgia with the same high-quality local service you have come to expect."

A spokeswoman for AT&T, which owns both U-Verse and DirecTV, confirmed that the issue has been resolved.

In the end, it appears viewers only missed some news programming and a few entertainment shows this afternoon. WSB-TV did not air any football games today. Tonight's line-up includes "America's Funniest Home Videos," a "Bachelor" preview and fresh episodes of "To Tell the Truth" and "Conviction."

Interruptions like this do happen on occasion as satellite and cable operators haggle over fees they pay broadcast and cable networks but seldom do the breaks last very long. The last time WSB-TV had such an issue in 2014, the blackout for Charter Communication customers lasted less than 18 hours.

The other CMG stations impacted were WFXT Boston; WSOC/WAXN Charlotte, N.C.; WHIO Dayton, Ohio; WFOX Jacksonville, Fla.; WHBQ Memphis, Tenn.; WFTV/WRDQ Orlando, Fla.; WPXI Pittsburgh, Pa.; KIRO Seattle, Wash.; and KOKI/KMYT Tulsa, Okla.

WSB-TV and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution are both part of Cox Media Group.