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DirecTV drops WCCO after contract talks fail with CBS

Viewers using AT&T's DirecTV and U-Verse in multiple cities no longer have access to CBS programming.

Some Twin Cities viewers lost CBS networking Saturday as contract disagreements have resulted in a blackout.

According to CBS, the network and AT&T’s DirectTV and U-Verse could not negotiate a price for programming, leading to a blackout of CBS-affiliated content in 17 U.S. cities where AT&T owns satellite systems, including the Twin Cities.

CBS Sports Network meanwhile has also been dropped nationally from DirecTV and DirecTV NOW.

CBS stated the blackout could "last a long time." AT&T told Variety that this isn’t the first time CBS has cut programming due to payment disagreements.

"CBS is a repeat blackout offender and has removed these same stations from DISH Network and Charter Spectrum customers in the past and threatened to remove them from others to ensure much higher fees," AT&T said in the statement.

WCCO, the area’s CBS affiliate station, urged viewers on its website to call AT&T and urge the company to bring back the CBS lineup. CBS also put up a website, keepcbs.com, to encourage viewers to call and take to social media to voice disapproval.

For the time being, CBS is encouraging DirectTV and U-Verse users to view programming on CBS All Access Apple TV, Chromecast or other services. 

You will also be able to watch WCCO if you buy an inexpensive digital antenna that offers local channels.

It's the second TV contract dispute affecting Twin Cities viewers that has broken out in the past few days.

Over the weekend, Fox Sports North asked its viewers to lobby DISH and its subsidiary Sling TV to agree to terms on a new contract with the channel, which broadcasts most Twin Cities pro-sports teams including the Twins, Lynx and Wild.

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