Saturday, November 06, 2010

Deny Me FoodTV and Cooking Channel and You Lose A Friend- Bye Bye AT&T

UPDATE- Nov 7th, Some agreement has been made. Food TV and Cooking channel are back on- My question is for how long and who gave in?

Yesterday AT&T Uverse dropped the Food TV, Cooking Channel and HGTV from it's channel selection. As big business wars go, we are not usually privy to the real reasons for thier actions, but one thing is for sure, we as the consumer have a right to get the programming we pay for.

I do not like the way AT&T handled it. I called them early in October when they sent out a notice that the contract for FoodTV, HGTV, Cooking Channel,DIY etc was going to expire Oct 31st. The receptionist at that time read me a statement that this was because AT&T was trying to negotiate a contract which would not result in increased rates for it's customers. Since all communications to their customer service lines are recoreded, I stated that I wanted the managers to know how important these stations are to me. Failure to maintain these channels would result in me going to another cable company.

November 1st, I could still get my programming. I mistakenly assumed that they had a continuing contract. Not to be. Yesterday, November 5th, 2010-AT&T Uverse turned off the switch to these channels. No initial message on screen to alert us consumers as they do with other things they want to communicate to you. Just nothing.

Seeking a why, I went to FoodTV contacts. They promptly sent me a the below statement.

Hello. Thank you for your email to Food Network and please accept our sincere apology for the delay in getting back to you with this response. We are shocked and disappointed that AT&T U-verse has taken our Networks off the air. AT&T U-verse?s decision to drop our channels is particularly surprising considering we reached an agreement in principle with AT&T U-verse on the distribution fees we would receive for our networks well in advance of last month?s contract deadline. Over the last week or so, we were simply trying to complete some final details to the contract. We, like you, want our channels back on AT&T U-verse immediately. It was AT&T?s decision to drop our channels, even though we offered a third extension to keep them on the air while we worked out final details of a new contract. The loss of our networks to AT&T U-verse was something we worked hard to avoid, even offering an extension through year end to work out final details of the agreement while allowing AT&T the rights to continue delivering our channels to you. Instead, AT&T stopped negotiating, took our family-friendly networks off the air and left you without our must-see shows. This was not an issue about money, and Scripps Networks had worked out financial details in principle before the contract with AT&T U-verse expired at the end of October. The remaining issues involved AT&T?s demands to use video content we created specifically for our networks in ways that go beyond our normal business practices. Accepting their demands would have constrained and limited our ability to provide our network's content to our viewers in new and innovative ways. What?s even more frustrating is that we offered AT&T an extension to work out final details while keeping our channels on the air, but AT&T refused and instead pulled our channels off the air. Should AT&T U-verse decide to resume discussions, we remain committed to continue our good faith negotiations and bring back our networks to ATT U-verse customers. You can tell AT&T U-verse you want your favorite network back by calling 1-800-288-2020, or go to our website at http://www.keepmynetworks.com/FoodNetwork_Landing.asp to e-mail AT&T and see what your options are for other distributors in your area. Best regards,Food Network Customer Service

The most important detail in this memo is:

This was not an issue about money, and Scripps Networks had worked out financial details in principle before the contract with AT&T U-verse expired at the end of October. The remaining issues involved AT&T's demands to use video content we created specifically for our networks in ways that go beyond our normal business practices.

This to me means that AT&T has another business reason not related to my cable TV programming and cost, but possibly want to use video content on 4 inch screen cellphones, etc for their own greed.

Poor decision AT&T. How many customers do you have to lose before you accept that we are why you are?

FoodTV provided a listing to me of other cable companies which are providing their shows.

Thank You for your support!
You Can do more!

You Can Call
Let your voice be heard. Call 1-877-789-1390 and share your opinion with AT&T/U-verse.

You Can Switch
Here is a list of other TV service providers in your area (Southern California) who carry your favorite network(s).

The Cooking Channel is available on these Providers in your area!

Time Warner Channel #154 and #892
DirecTV Channel #232
Dish Network Channel #113

DIY Network is available on these Providers in your area!

Time Warner Channel #172 and #890
DirecTV Channel #230
Dish Network Channel #111 and #876

Food Network is available on these Providers in your area!

Time Warner Channel #434
Time Warner Channel #53 and #889
DirecTV Channel #231
Dish Network Channel #110 and #9462(HD)

Great American Country is available on these Providers in your area!

Time Warner Channel #122
DirecTV Channel #326
Dish Network Channel #167

HGTV is available on these Providers in your area!

Time Warner Channel #433
Time Warner Channel #74 and #891
DirecTV Channel #229
Dish Network Channel #112 and #9461(HD)

2 comments:

Doodles said...

Sylvie I'm sure you have already looked into this but I would suggest Direct TV, not that they don't have their greed issues.

Sylvie said...

I am going to go with Direct TV. Seems that's the one everybody is suggesting to me.