FAQs for AT&T U-Verse and DIRECTV customers

1. What is happening?

By law, Channel 2 WSB-TV must negotiate carriage agreements with cable and satellite companies like AT&T U-Verse and DirecTV.  Usually, these deals are reached without any disruption in service to viewers.  In fact, our company has completed dozens of agreements – including several in the past few weeks – with only the rarest of disruptions.  Unfortunately, so far, AT&T/DirecTV has refused to reach a fair, market-based deal to carry Channel 2 WSB-TV.  Our existing agreements with AT&T and DirecTV expired at 3AM on New Year’s Day, and AT&T and DIRECTV removed Channel 2 WSB-TV from its channel lineups at that time.  We are continuing to negotiate with AT&T/DirecTV, but they repeatedly have refused to agree to reasonable terms for the valuable programming we provide.

2.  As an AT&T U-Verse or DirecTV customer, what can I do to continue to watch my favorite shows on Channel 2 WSB-TV?

The best thing viewers can do is call your service provider at 1-800-288-2020 for AT&T U-Verse and 1-800-531-5000 for DirecTV. Another number for DirecTV is 1-855-380-6515. Tell AT&T/DirecTV that you pay them a lot of money to watch your favorite shows on Channel 2 WSB-TV including Atlanta’s #1 newscast, Channel 2 Action News plus ABC’s “Good Morning America” and “World News Tonight with David Muir,” new episodes of “Scandal,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” “The Bachelor,” “Modern Family,” and “black-ish.” Tell AT&T/DirecTV to bring back Channel 2 WSB-TV.

Telephone Numbers:

AT&T:  1-800-288-2020

DIRECTV:  1-800-531-5000 or 1-855-380-6515

3.  Why does Channel 2 WSB-TV charge AT&T U-Verse and DirecTV a fee to carry their programming? 

Channel 2 WSB-TV is among the highest rated channels on both the AT&T U-Verse and DIRECTV platforms.  Producing and broadcasting high rated, top-quality local programming is very expensive.  We invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in our local news, weather, and emergency programming.  Without the fees from cable and satellite companies such as AT&T U-Verse and DirecTV, this would not be possible.  Channel 2 WSB-TV could not afford to broadcast seven hours of local news each day, plus weekly locally produced shows like “Hot Topics,” Georgia Bulldogs “Game Day,” People 2 People” and over 20 award-winning prime time local programs produced each year covering the Atlanta and North Georgia community..

4.  What is a "fair" price for Channel 2 WSB-TV's programming and why is AT&T/DIRECTV refusing to pay that price?

We have carriage agreements with every other major cable and satellite company that is carrying Channel 2 WSB-TV, including Comcast, Charter Cable and Dish.  In fact, we just recently concluded a new long-term agreement with many of these providers that will ensure continued service for customers of those companies.  AT&T/DIRECTV, however, insists that it should pay substantially lower rates than what AT&T/DIRECTV pays to video programming providers that compete with Channel 2 WSB-TV – like ESPN – and substantially lower rates than what Channel 2 WSB-TV’s other distributors – like Comcast and Charter – pay Channel 2 WSB-TV.  Naturally, we cannot give away our product for less than it is worth.

5. What does AT&T/DIRECTV pay for other channels?

Based on publicly available information, AT&T U-Verse and DIRECTV pay over $6 per subscriber per month for ESPN.  In other words, $6 from your monthly bill goes straight to ESPN.  Our ratings are much higher than ESPN’s!  Yet, we are asking for significantly less than what AT&T/DIRECTV pays to ESPN.  More importantly, ESPN has NO local programming, NO local employees, NO local investments, and a very small local audience – unlike Channel 2 WSB-TV.

6. Won't my rates go up if AT&T/DIRECTV has to pay Channel 2 WSB-TV?

Whether rates go up depends on decisions made by AT&T U-Verse and DIRECTV.  Like all cable and satellite companies, AT&T and DIRECTV are already charging you to receive Channel 2 WSB-TV as part of your monthly bill.  AT&T/DIRECTV should stop over-paying for channels its customers do not watch and re-allocate that money to the channels, like Channel 2 WSB-TV that its subscribers turn to every day.  In any event, we do not control how much AT&T/DIRECTV pays to other channels or how it manages its business.  We simply ask that AT&T/DIRECTV pay a fair market price for our content, just as its competitors do; and we have and will continue to negotiate with AT&T/DIRECTV in good faith in an effort to successfully complete a deal with them.

7. Will AT&T/DIRECTV give me a refund on my bill now that it has stopped carrying Channel 2 WSB-TV?

It is up to AT&T/DIRECTV to resolve such questions with its customers.  But, you could call AT&T/DIRECTV at the numbers above to demand a refund because since AT&T/DIRECTV has dropped your favorite programming, you no longer are getting what you have paid for.

8. Is there anything the public can do to make sure that Channel 2 WSB-TV returns to AT&T/DIRECTV?

The best way to influence this controversy is for you to register your support of how important it is for AT&T/DIRECTV to return Channel 2 WSB-TV to their channel lineups by calling AT&T/DIRECTV at the numbers above or by sending them messages through social media.  You pay AT&T/DirecTV a lot of money.  It will listen to your voices.  Or you can contact any number of other providers that are committed to providing you with the programming you watch every day:

o  Comcast:  1-800-XFINITY (1-800-934-6489) or http://www.xfinity.com/

Charter/Spectrum Cable:  1-855-479-6984  www.charter.com

o  DISH Network:  1-844-203-4552 or www.dish.com

Regardless, we will continue to work hard to try and get a successful outcome to this negotiation so that AT&T/DIRECTV restores to you live access to any of your favorite programming.  The ball, however, remains in AT&T/DIRECTV’s court to step-up like all of their competitors and peers have done.