Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios has a carriage deal with AT&T and DirecTV — a little more than a year after it joined in a $10 billion lawsuit that accused the distributors of carrying too few minority-owned services.
The telco’s DirecTV picked up Comedy.TV and Justice Central.TV beginning today, the company says in a brief announcement. U-verse will offer Comedy.TV, Recipe.TV, ES.TV, MyDestination.TV, Cars.TV, and Pets.TV — and continue to offer Justice Central.
The deal resolves a discrimination suit against AT&T and DirecTV filed last December by Entertainment Studios and the National Association of African American Owned Media. The charge that the pay TV companies had discriminated against minority-owned channels came as AT&T and DirecTV awaited government approval for their merger deal which closed in July.
The telco and satellite company paid $22 billion a year on carriage fees and ads, but only $3 million of that went to companies 100% owned by African Americans, the suit charged. The lawsuit states that, together, AT&T and DirecTV spend about $22 billion a year on channel carriage fees and advertising. Of that, less than $3 million goes to 100% African American owned media.
The companies vigorously denied that they had discriminated. Entertainment Studios filed similar legal challenges against Comcast and Time Warner Cable, which also denied the charges.
Last week AT&T agreed to add Sean “Diddy” Combs’ Revolt TV to DirecTV, and expand distribution on U-verse.