AT&T U-verse, Tribune Get Retrans Deal Done

Includes Carriage of WGN America on U-verse, DirecTV
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WASHINGTON — AT&T's U-verse TV and Tribune Broadcasting have resolved their retransmission-consent impasse with a new deal that includes carriage of cable network WGN America both on U-verse and the recently acquired DirecTV.

“AT&T and Tribune Media have reached a multiyear agreement covering Tribune Media’s television stations and broad distribution of its cable network, WGN America, to AT&T U-verse and DirecTV subscribers,” the two sides planned to say in a statement being released Monday.

A Wednesday (Oct. 21) deadline for their extension on talks had passed quietly without incident, and without any channels getting pulled down. The retransmission consent impasse could potentially have affected 24 stations in 19 markets, according to Tribune.

By Friday (Oct. 23), what had been pulled down were Tribune crawls on the station websites warning of possible blackouts and the sides were still talking, according to a Tribune spokesperson

The two sides have been extending the deadline repeatedly as they continued to try to hammer out a new deal. The previous contract expired at the end of September.

WGN America has been making some waves with original programming, notably the Emmy-winning Manhattan; its second season debuted Oct. 13.

B&C business editor Jon Lafayette contributed to this report

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