Millions of people who have AT&T or DirecTV and live in some of the biggest markets in the United States have been without CBS for a few weeks. Without a deal, CBS was dark in half of the NFL markets across the country with the season fast approaching. And on the first full day of NFL preseason games, four weeks before the start of the regular season, a carriage deal has been reached.
According to a statement by CBS, the deal is done and everyone (naturally) is thrilled with it.
These stations are returning today to any impacted AT&T homes. CBS local affiliates previously available on DIRECTV NOW will also return to those streaming lineups. CBS Sports Network is returning to DIRECTV and DIRECTV NOW and Smithsonian Channel™ is returning to DIRECTV.
The agreement includes retransmission consent for all 26 CBS-owned stations in 17 markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta, Tampa, Seattle, Detroit, Minneapolis, Miami, Denver, Sacramento, Pittsburgh and Baltimore.
Note some of those cities mentioned: eight of them are AFC markets, and all except Sacramento have NFL teams.
Negotiations between AT&T and Nexstar are still ongoing, and the outage of Nexstar affiliates is dragging on. While there are more affiliates affected nationwide, many are not in major markets with NFL teams or involve non-CBS/Fox/NBC affiliates. Nevertheless, considering the NFL is on three broadcast networks, it’s likely a lot of people will also miss out on the NFL if Nexstar and AT&T didn’t come to an agreement, and it would be a safe bet that this game of chicken comes to an end over the next month.