U-verse loses HGTV, Food & other Scripps networks during latest carriage dispute

Well, we can't say we weren't warned. It appears AT&T and Scripps Networks have been unable to reach a price for the family of TV channels including HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, Cooking Channel and GAC, resulting in them disappearing at 1 a.m. last night. Naturally, each side has issued press releases (included after the break) and put up websites accusing the other of being unreasonable, unfair, and undoubtedly being the cause of the mess though curiously this time around it's the content provider Scripps claiming U-verse refused an extension while negotiations continued. In the meantime, AT&T suggests subscribers check out TLC and others on a free preview to fill the gap -- we'll see how long that lasts, it's the real Bobby Flay or nothing where we come from.

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AT&T U-verse TV Customers Denied Fair Deal By Scripps Networks

DALLAS, Nov. 5, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- AT&T U-verse® TV customers have been denied a fair deal for HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, Cooking Channel and GAC programming by Scripps Networks, leaving AT&T without the rights to deliver these channels as of 1:00 a.m. EDT. AT&T* issued the following statement to update its customers:

We're extremely disappointed that Scripps Networks won't provide a fair deal for AT&T customers. Our team has been working for weeks to reach a fair agreement, but Scripps Networks ultimately refused to put in writing key terms that had been agreed upon verbally, leaving our customers without a fair deal as our extended contract expired.

Unfortunately, this is yet another example of a network punishing its own viewers for leverage in programming negotiations. Scripps Networks is demanding that AT&T pay double what other competitors pay - including smaller-sized affiliates - and has yet to provide a proposal that gives AT&T a choice in the channels we carry and pay for, despite repeated requests.

Scripps Networks also wants this premium price for inferior access to their content for our customers on other platforms, even though other competitors get this at much lower prices. With such an uneven playing field, they are harming AT&T's ability to provide customers with a new video choice.

We will continue to fight for a fair deal to bring these channels back to our lineup because our customers deserve the programming they want, at a fair price.

In the place of HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, Cooking Channel and GAC during this time, AT&T U-verse customers can enjoy a free preview of the popular programming from TLC on channels 450/1450, Bravo on channels 452/1452, Planet Green on channels 454/1454, ION Life on channel 456/1456 and CMT Pure Country on channel 529.

U-verse TV customers can get more information at

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

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AT&T U-verse refuses extension to year end; chooses to drop fan favorites HGTV, Food Network and other family-friendly networks from its channel lineup

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (Friday, Nov. 5, 2010) – In a surprising move after weeks of positive negotiations, AT&T U-verse refused a third extension offered by Scripps Networks that would keep the family friendly networks HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel and Great American Country on the air while negotiations continued. The decision by AT&T disrupted service to the telecom provider's 2.7 million customers, leaving them without some of the most popular lifestyle networks on television.

"Let me start by saying this impasse is not about money," said John Lansing, president of Scripps Networks. "We reached an agreement in principle with AT&T U-verse on the distribution fees we would receive for these networks well in advance of last month's contract deadline."

Lansing added that AT&T refused an offer early Friday morning to extend the existing contract through the end of this year in order to allow negotiations to continue and resolve any outstanding business issues.

"This is something we worked hard to avoid," Lansing said. "We are shocked and disappointed that AT&T U-verse would rather deprive its customers of fan favorites like HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel and Great American Country than continue to negotiate in good faith."

The remaining issues involved in the negotiations revolve around AT&T U-verse's demands to use Scripps Networks' video – video that was created specifically for its lifestyle networks and video that Scripps owns – in ways that go beyond normal business practices.

"AT&T U-verse demanded unreasonably broad video rights for emerging media where business models have not even been established," Lansing explained. "Accepting their demands would have restrained our ability to deliver our content to our viewers in new and innovative ways.

HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel and GAC are available to viewers through every other cable, satellite and telecom provider. Lansing said that, should AT&T U-verse decide to resume discussions, Scripps remains committed to continuing in good faith negotiations in order to bring back its networks to ATT U-verse customers.