DIRECTV Now and A&E Networks Hash Out Differences…For Now

As one of the more expensive streaming packages, DIRECTV Now needs to have a wide variety of content to provide their customers. Unfortunately for DIRECTV Now, they’ve hit quite the snag in negotiations with one of their biggest clients–A&E Networks.

Which Channels Are Under the A&E Networks Umbrella?

A&E rose to prominence on the backbone of the channel, Arts & Entertainment. Since that initial 1990s launch, the multimedia corporation has blossomed far beyond a singular niche channel.

Currently, the A&E Networks umbrella covers some of the most popular cable network programmings. They have these tiers of programming further divided into niches that the company shops around as add-ons for streaming services.

The hierarchy of A&E Networks programming is as follows:

  • A&E
    • A&E
    • Crime & Investigation
    • FYI
  • History
    • History
    • History en Español
    • Military History
  • Lifetime Entertainment Services
    • Lifetime
    • Lifetime Movies
    • Lifetime Real Women

In addition, A&E Networks also boasts a 10% stake in Vice Media. Therefore, their popular channel, Viceland, is also a point of bargaining power for the communications company as well.

Why A&E Networks is Pulling from DIRECTV Now

Last week, A&E Networks announced that they were considering ending their partnership with DIRECTV Now. They entered deep negotiations with the parent company of DIRECT Now, AT&T.

With AT&T rolling out 5G and taking over Time Warner, they are beginning to push the agendas of their own channels. These practices are being done at the detriment of numerous companies, including A&E Networks.

As A&E Networks Group CEO, Paul Buccieri explained,

“AT&T has not demonstrated a willingness to negotiate reasonably. The deal we are seeking is based on the same fair market terms that have allowed us to reach deals with numerous other providers. AT&T simply has not yet demonstrated that they recognize the value of our programming and the high regard we have for our viewers – including AT&T’s own customers.


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 U.S. 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.”

– Paul Buccieri

With negotiations going south, A&E Networks gave AT&T an ultimatum to be met this week. If AT&T doesn’t adhere to A&E Networks’ demands, then their signature content will be removed from the DIRECTV Now lineup.

AT&T Responds to A&E Networks

With popular channels such as History and Lifetime, DIRECTV Now doesn’t want to lose A&E Networks. However, AT&T most poise itself for dominating the industry. Therefore, they don’t seem eager to budge to the ultimatum.

AT&T released a statement on the DIRECTV Now fiasco:

“We’re disappointed to see A&E put our customers in the middle of their negotiations. 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.
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.”

– AT&T

With this cloud of uncertainty, DIRECTV Now subscribers must brace themselves. By the end of the week, some of the most popular A&E Channels might not be in catalog anymore.

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