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FOX Sports 1 and AT&T U-Verse standoff drags on

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FOX Sports 1 and TV provider AT&T U-Verse are 7 weeks into a standoff that has caused viewers to miss out on many live sporting events, including the first 6 weeks of MLS games, and United States vs. Mexico friendly on Wednesday night (even though parent company AT&T sponsored the game on FS1). And it’s unclear but it may also include tomorrow’s FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Aston Villa.

While disputes between channels and providers are nothing new, this specific battle is, however, a little different.  In most cases of similar standoffs such as this one, the provider will drop the channel from their lineup altogether.  However, in this instance, U-Verse is airing FS1 programming except for certain live sporting events (such as soccer matches and NASCAR races). As a result, AT&T U-Verse customers tuning in to USA-Mexico on Wednesday got a World Darts Championship program instead of a live soccer game.

As usual, this standoff centers around money.

In response to the conflict, AT&T made the following statement: “FOX Sports 1 is asking AT&T to pay additional fees for the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Big East Basketball Games, as well as U.S. Golf Association tournaments.  While it’s important to us that we provide our customers with the content they want, we don’t believe that it is reasonable to pass on the added costs of carrying this programming to our customer.

“Our strategy has always been to carry the sports our customers want most, but only through fair deals for our customers and our business.  We won’t agree to a deal that would cause our customers to pay unreasonable rates.”

FOX Sports’ position is that “AT&T U-verse’s current agreement with FOX Sports 1 does not cover dozens of live sporting events on the channel beginning with the NASCAR XFINITY Series race from Atlanta (March 1st).  Other events that may not air are 8 additional NASCAR XFINITY series races, 17 Big East Conference basketball games (including all men’s tournament games), many Major League Soccer and US Men’s and Women’s National Team soccer matches, and 8 USGA events including rounds 1 and 2 of the US Open.

“While FOX Sports 1 attempts to negotiate an agreement that extends to these events, we must prepare AT&T U-verse subscribers for the possibility that they may not be able to see these events on the channel.  U-verse subscribers are encouraged to reach out to AT&T to request all FOX Sports 1 programming.”

Altogether, AT&T U-Verse has approximately 6 million customers.

With the dispute currently dragging on, and customers starting to get agitated, hopefully AT&T and FOX Sports can quickly resolve their monetary issues and put an end to the standoff. Unfortunately, the public (and specifically soccer fans) are getting screwed.

 

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. bob welty

    April 20, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    The hell with you showing soccer all night and just blowing off all three motogp races…….your network suck!!! theres more to life then soccer you moron’s.

  2. Anthony Hewetson

    April 19, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    FOX has screwed over MLS by screwing over its fans – every time they bump a scheduled game, at the last minute, from FS1 (part of most folks’ cable package) to FS2 (a very expensive add on). Presumably MLS paid FOX to have the Portland:New York game to be screened, as scheduled, on FS1. They should get their money back as it’s been bumped for NASCAR.

    • yespage

      April 20, 2015 at 1:35 pm

      Definitely. Having a game shown on FS2 is kind of like a death nail for viewership.

    • Tim

      April 20, 2015 at 4:20 pm

      Well NASCAR is more popular than soccer in general in this counrty so that is not hard to figure out. If it were an MLS game that scheduled show would get pumped because you can not cut off a live event.

  3. Yespage

    April 19, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    Man, is AT&T’s contract with Fox that specific where it lists specific programming? If so, they should fire a few lawyers that allowed that contract.

    Otherwise, Fox is continuing with their ridiculous trend of trying to get Sat/cable to pay more for less. They lost the EPL, reshuffle the remaining programming over a couple “new” channels and then demand higher rates, for channels still under contract! Fox is about as unethical as it gets as a programming provider.

    • David

      April 20, 2015 at 12:25 pm

      I read more about this in another article. The issue is when AT&T signed the contract, Fox Sports was not carrying these soccer, nascar, and other events. Nascar signed a new contract in 2013 that moved events from NBC to Fox Sports. Since Fox didn’t have the rights to these events when the contract was signed, they are now asking AT&T to pay more now that Fox has secured the rights for new sporting events. I hope AT&T is giving Fox the middle finger.

      • yespage

        April 20, 2015 at 1:34 pm

        A definitely deserved finger. It is absurd! Did AT&T, Dish, Directv get a refund when Fox lost the rights to the EPL?

  4. ribman

    April 18, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    I’m AT&T UVerse subscriber and I agree with them. Fox Sports is a ripoff they charge $20+ for Fox 2 as an add on -no one pays for that so try and get it this way and I wouldn’t watch any of the crap listed so why pay more for a 2nd tier sports-

    • NaBUru38

      April 19, 2015 at 2:27 pm

      No, ATT is charging 20 dollars. FS2 costs less than 0.50.

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