In a potentially promising sign, A+E Networks updated its KeepMyChannels website Sunday to a simple sentence: “AT&T – DirecTV customers, we are working to ensure you keep A&E, History, Lifetime and all of the A+E Networks currently available to you. Thank you for your support.”
That’s less wordy than Saturday’s message warning U-verse, DirecTV and DirecTV Now customers that they could lose the channels soon if a deal isn’t reached. The site is no longer urging customers to call their provider about the nets. The contract expires Tuesday evening. A+E did not respond immediately for comment about the updated site.
A+E chief Paul Buccieri sent a memo to employees over the weekend, saying the two are far apart from a deal. “Having recently acquired WarnerMedia, AT&T appears intent on using their new position to gain an unfair advantage for their own channels. Many, including the US Department of Justice, were concerned that AT&T would have the ability and incentive to discriminate against programmers like A+E Networks and others like us. It seems that concern has become a reality,” he wrote.
AT&T said it’s disappointed the programmer is putting customers in the middle. “We are on the side of customer choice and value and want to keep these channels in our customers’ lineups. We hope to avoid any interruption to these channels that some of our customers care about,” read a statement. “Our goal is always to deliver the content our customers want at a value that also makes sense to them. We’ve always fought to get the best deal for our customers, delivering the content they want at a great value. We’ll continue to fight for that here.”