AT&T/Hallmark: Still No Talks On Carriage

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No news was not good news for Hallmark Channels or its viewers who subscribe to AT&T U-verse.

According to a Hallmark spokesperson Thursday, there are still no talks with AT&T in its second day of being dark on U-Verse system.

A Hallmark spokesperson said that in the hundreds of negotiations it has conducted in its nine years on the air, including ones that went beyond the deadline, this is the first time it has gone dark on any system.

AT&T replaced Hallmark Channels with other programming just after midnight Aug. 31 after the two sides could not come to an agreement on a new deal.

AT&T has said it offered to continue carrying the channel on the old terms without a contract while they continued to negotiate, but that Hallmark declined. A Hallmark spokesperson said an extension was not granted because it received a termination letter from AT&T.

Talks broke off last week but resumed this week and went right up to the deadline, breaking off soon after.

AT&T has charged that Hallmark has "refused to adhere to key obligations" under its current deal, while Hallmark President Bill Abbott countered that he was "stunned" by what he called the "apparent disregard for the facts in AT&T's statement regarding our negotiations."

While this stalemate continues, Time Warner Cable finalized a new agreement with Walt Disney Co. that keeps that company's programming stable, including ABC and ESPN, on the second-biggest U.S. cable operator.