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Cable Technology Feature Article

August 30, 2010

AT&T U-verse May Stop Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel

By Raju Shanbhag, TMCnet Contributor

As a result of a battle between AT&T (News - Alert) and Hallmark, customers of AT&T U-verse may stand to lose Hallmark Channels on Aug. 31.

Already, AT&T U-verse has sent postcards to its customers stating that they may lose the Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel if an agreement is not reached.

Currently, negotiations between both the companies are at a standstill, Hallmark has announced in a press release.

Hallmark Channel recently announced a programming deal with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, to provide a daytime lifestyle programming block on the network which is slated to premiere on Sept. 13.

Hallmark ranks second for its family-friendly viewing (Feb. '10 Millward Brown Family Friendly TV Evaluation Study) and is among many ad-supported entertainment cable networks.

Company officials have alluded that AT&T U-verse TV recently went through a notable carriage renewal and this latest development is a scare tactic.

Bill Abbott, president and CEO, Hallmark Channel, said, “Hallmark Channel has been a good partner and supporter of AT&T U-verse since they launched their service, and we have been negotiating in good faith with them. We hope AT&T will recognize the extraordinary value of our channels and renew the carriage agreement. Talks are not progressing and it is looking more likely that Hallmark Channels will be dropped from AT&T.”

On Sept. 7, Hallmark Channel will announce a fourth quarter original programming slate that includes 14 Hallmark Channel original movie world premieres.

Recently, AT&T introduced the U-verse Mobile App for the BlackBerry (News - Alert) Torch smartphone, which will help the users to schedule their DVR recordings on the go from their smartphones.

The newly launched application is available only for AT&T customers in AT&T stores and online. It is also the best example of how AT&T delivers more value to U-verse TV customers with continued service enhancements and innovative apps.

Raju Shanbhag is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Raju’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Erin Monda