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AT&T, CBS sign carriage deal, ending blackout for stations, cable networks

Ending an almost three-week blackout, AT&T Inc. and CBS Corp. have reached a new carriage deal covering multiple distribution platforms and content outlets.

The companies jointly announced Aug. 8 that they signed a multiyear pact, financial terms of which were not disclosed, that provides for carriage of CBS (US)-owned stations, as well as national cable networks CBS Sports Network (US) and Smithsonian Channel (US). The announcement also indicated that the deal covers carriage for the upcoming AT&T TV platform, which will livestream video over a self-installed set-top box.

The parties had failed to come to terms on a new agreement earlier in July, and the CBS content had remained dark to AT&T video customers since then.

Twenty-six CBS-owned stations in 17 markets, including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, are being restored today to subscribers of DIRECTV, U-verse and virtual provider DIRECTV NOW, which will be rebranded as AT&T NOW later this summer. Moreover, 117 CBS local affiliates will again be available to DIRECTV NOW subscribers.

CBS Sports Network is returning to DIRECTV and DIRECTV NOW, while Smithsonian Channel will again be available to the primary satellite service.