AT&T’S ACTIONS CONTRAST SHARPLY WITH ITS PUBLIC COMMENTARY;
EIGHT BROADCAST GROUPS PRESENTLY WITHOUT CARRIAGE RESULTING IN CONCENTRATED LOSS OF SERVICE TO CONSUMERS IN THIRTEEN U.S. MARKETS

AT&T Withholds Content from Subscribers Rather than Negotiate
with Broadcasters at Fair Market Rates


IRVING, Texas, July 11, 2019 – Nexstar Media Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: NXST) (“Nexstar”) set the record straight today with legislators, regulators, consumers and others related to ongoing negotiations between the parties on a distribution agreement that will allow AT&T to continue to offer Nexstar’s highly rated network and local community programming to its subscribers.
The misinformation campaign began when AT&T indicated that “Nexstar pulled 120 of its local broadcast stations…” Nexstar did not pull its stations or ask for their removal from AT&T’s DIRECTV, Uverse or DIRECTV NOW platforms. Rather, Nexstar’s offer for a 30 day extension would have allowed consumers in the affected markets to continue viewing their favorite network shows, special events, sports, local news and other programming while the parties continue negotiations.

AT&T in its “External Fact Sheet” and in communications to elected officials, erroneously asserts that Nexstar has been involved in blackouts with Cox Cable, DISH Network, Charter Spectrum “and others” when in fact Nexstar has never had DISH Network or Charter Spectrum remove its stations from their consumer video offerings. The facts are that Nexstar has established a long-term record of completing hundreds of agreements with multichannel video programming distributors (“MVPDs” or cable TV, satellite TV, telecom companies) for the carriage of its television stations and is proud that it has never,
in its 23-year history, had a service interruption related to distribution agreements of the magnitude of the AT&T/DIRECTV interruption. Over the past 20 months alone, Nexstar has successfully renewed more than 390 distribution agreements with cable providers for the carriage of Nexstar’s stations, including a new agreement with Cox.

In contrast, following its 2015 acquisition by AT&T, DIRECTV has been routinely involved in disputes with content providers and has dropped or threatened to black out network and local community programming from Viacom, SJL Broadcasting/Lilly Broadcasting, and others. AT&T also fails to inform readers that between May 30, 2019 and June 10, 2019 alone, AT&T/DIRECTV customers lost access to the network and local content of at least 20 other non-Nexstar stations due to its failure to reach fair
agreements with ten other broadcasters. At this time, AT&T has disputes with broadcasters and dropped local broadcast stations from several station operators (including Deerfield Media, MPS Media, GoCom Media of Illinois, Howard Stirk Holdings, Roberts Media, Second Generation of Iowa, Waitt Broadcasting, Mercury Media Group, Northwest Broadcasting and Nexstar), resulting in concentrated black outs of local programming and service for its customers in thirteen U.S. markets (see table below).

Notably, in addition to its ownership of DIRECTV — the nation’s largest direct broadcast satellite service provider and in some markets, the sole source of a broadcast signal — in 2018 AT&T acquired Time Warner including global media and entertainment giants Warner Bros., HBO, Turner and CNN.

A little more than a year after putting DIRECTV together with Time Warner, AT&T appears intent on using its new market power to prioritize its own content at the expense of consumers, and insisting on unreasonable terms that are inconsistent with the market. As measured by stock market capitalizations, AT&T is approximately 50 times larger than Nexstar and the size disparity is even greater relative to the other broadcasters that AT&T has currently blacked out. As one legislator noted in his letter to AT&T’s CEO, “This cutoff seems to have the sole purpose of enhancing DirecTV bargaining leverage – with severe harm to Connecticut consumers.”

Perhaps the most egregious of the AT&T statements since they removed Nexstar and other broadcasters’ programming is, “We have asked – and will continue to ask – Nexstar to restore its channels while we work privately to close an agreement that offers our customers the content they want at a value that also makes sense to them.” Apparently AT&T’s attention over the last week has not been on its customers and viewers that it has deprived of local programming as Nexstar has repeatedly reiterated its offer to AT&T/DIRECTV of an extension through August 8, which would have provide viewers with uninterrupted access to their favorite network shows, special events, sports, local news and other programming until a new agreement can be reached.

Nexstar wants nothing more than to bring its programming back to viewers by completing a new fair market agreement with AT&T and continues to negotiate in good faith to establish a mutually agreeable contract with DIRECTV. Nexstar has offered AT&T/DIRECTV the same rates it offered to other large distribution partners with whom it completed successful negotiations with in 2019 to date.

Nexstar remains hopeful that a resolution can be reached immediately, but should AT&T fail to come to terms with Nexstar, Nexstar intends to continue to actively educate consumers in affected markets on how they can continue to receive their favorite network programming, in-depth local news, other content and programming relevant to their communities, and critical updates in times of emergencies.

AT&T’s attempts to disparage Nexstar will not be tolerated and their misguided efforts to fool their viewers as well as legislators and regulators, the investment community and the public at-large warranted a response.

Consumers and viewers affected by AT&T/DIRECTV’s blackout can contact AT&T/DIRECTV directly at 208 South Akard Street, Dallas, TX 75202 and by phone at 855-567-1569 or 210-821-4105. Viewers affected by the loss of service from DIRECTV have several alternatives to continue watching their favorite shows including local cable providers, DISH, over-the-air, certain subscription streaming television services, and services such as Verizon’s FIOS.

Select List of Markets Without Service From More Than One Major Network:
BROADCAST MARKET STATIONS DROPPED BY AT&T STATION OWNER

  1. Pensacola, FL-Mobile, AL WPMI-TV (NBC) Deerfield Media
    WJTC-TV (Independent) Deerfield Media
    WFNA-TV (CBS) Nexstar
    WKRG-TV (CW) Nexstar
  2. Rochester, NY WHAM-TV (ABC) Deerfield Media
    WROC-TV (CBS) Nexstar
  3. Scranton-Wilkes Barre, PA WSWB-TV (CW) MPS Media
    WBRE-TV (NBC) Nexstar
  4. Springfield-Champaign, IL WRSP-TV (FOX) GoCom Media of Illinois
    WCIA-TV (CBS) Nexstar
    WCIX-TV (MyNetworkTV) Nexstar
  5. Florence-Myrtle Beach, SC WWMB-TV (CW) Howard Stirk Holdings
    WBTW-TV (CBS/MyNetworkTV) Nexstar
  6. Sioux City, IA KMEG-TV (CBS) Waitt Broadcasting
    KCAU-TV (ABC) Nexstar
  7. Alexandria, LA KLAX-TV (ABC) Northwest Broadcasting
    WNTZ-TV (FOX) Nexstar
  8. Binghamton, NY WICZ-TV (FOX) Northwest Broadcasting
    WBPN-LP (MyNetworkTV) Northwest Broadcasting
    WIVT-TV (ABC) Nexstar
    WBGH-TV (NBC) Nexstar
  9. Syracuse, NY WSYT-TV (FOX) Northwest Broadcasting
    WNYS-TV (MyNetworkTV) Northwest Broadcasting
    WSYR-TV (ABC) Nexstar
    About Nexstar Media Group, Inc.
    Nexstar Media Group is a leading diversified media company that leverages localism to bring new services and value to consumers and advertisers through its traditional media, digital and mobile media platforms. Nexstar owns, operates, programs or provides sales and other services to 174 full power television stations and related digital multicast signals reaching 100 markets or nearly 39% of all U.S.
    television households. Nexstar’s portfolio includes primary affiliates of NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, MyNetworkTV and The CW. Nexstar’s community portal websites offer additional hyper-local content and verticals for consumers and advertisers, allowing audiences to choose where, when and how they
    access content while creating new revenue opportunities
    Forward-Looking Statements
    This communication includes forward-looking statements. We have based these forward-looking statements on our current expectations and projections about future events. Forward-looking statements include information preceded by, followed by, or that includes the words “guidance,” “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “could,” or similar expressions. For these statements, Nexstar claims the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The forward-looking statements contained in this communication, concerning, among other things, future financial performance, including changes in net revenue, cash flow and operating expenses, involve risks and uncertainties, and are subject to change based on various important factors, including the impact of changes in national and regional economies, the ability to service and refinance our outstanding debt, successful integration of acquired television stations and digital businesses (including achievement of synergies and cost reductions), pricing fluctuations in local and national advertising, future regulatory actions and conditions in the television stations’ operating areas, competition from others in the broadcast television markets, volatility in programming costs, the effects of governmental regulation of broadcasting, industry consolidation, technological developments and major world news events. Nexstar undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. In light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the forward-looking events discussed in this communication might not occur. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release. For more details on factors that could affect these expectations, please see Nexstar’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
    Contact:
    Elizabeth Ryder Joseph Jaffoni, Jennifer Neuman
    Executive Vice President & General Counsel JCIR
    Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc. 212/835-8500 or nxst@jcir.com
    972/373-8800

Q: What is happening?

A: DIRECTV and AT&T U-verse subscribers no longer have access to WNCN/CBS 17 station as of midnight CST on July 3, 2019.  DIRECTV and AT&T U-verse did not accept a contract extension offer by Nexstar Media, parent company of WNCN/CBS 17 for the right to continue to air your favorite news stories around the Raleigh, Durham and Fayetteville area. By rejecting an extension for continued negotiations and to avoid a disruption of service, AT&T and DIRECTV took away content that you pay for and was included with your monthly subscription. They are no longer providing the content you initially signed up for when you subscribed to their service.  

Q: What other programming could I miss?

A:  You no longer have access to your local news, emergency service updates, and your favorite shows such as 60 Minutes.

Q: Where will WNCN/CBS 17 programming still be available?

A: No other cable or satellite company is affected; only DIRECTV and AT&T U-versecustomers have had their favorite news, comedies, dramas, and sports taken away.  Unfortunately, we are not alone in this as AT&T and DIRECTV have removed various other stations across the nation in the past.   Among the other providers available that see the value in local content include DISH (855-898-6730) and your local cable company.

Q: Are you still negotiating with AT&T and DIRECTV? 

A: We were negotiating and offered to extend our current deal multiple times while we vigorously attempted to provide both sides more time to reach a fair agreement.  In the time leading up to the expiration of the agreement with DIRECTV/AT&T, Nexstar not only offered an extension until August 2, it also offered DIRECTV/AT&T its availability “over the next 30 days to meet with you in-person on the following dates:  July 12, 13, 14, 15, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 as well as August 1 and 2” adding, “We are willing to dedicate as many of these dates as needed.  Not knowing when you and your decision makers are available, to avoid any disruption in service to your customers and our viewers in 97 markets across the country, we propose an extension of the current agreement through Friday August 2nd.”  This extension was not accepted.

Q: Is this abnormal for AT&T and DIRECTV to remove local programming from their lineup? 

A: DIRECTV is routinely involved in disputes with content providers and following its 2015 acquisition by AT&T, it has dropped or threatened to black out various network and local community programming. Between May 30, 2019 and June 10, 2019 alone, viewers of at least 20 other non-Nexstar stations (owned by Deerfield Media, GoCom Media of Illinois, Howard Stirk Holdings, Mercury Broadcast Group, MPS Media, Nashville License Holdings, Roberts Media, Second Generation of Iowa and Waitt Broadcasting) lost access to network and local content as a result AT&T/DIRECTV’s refusal to accept fair market rates for the distribution of leading non-AT&T programming.

Q: What can I do about this situation?

A: You have choices and should take action. Call 855-937-9469 and demand they bring back your favorite local news source! You can also contact other local providers – including DISH (855-898-6730) – and switch to make sure you are treated fairly and get the programming you want.   Don’t let your video provider dictate what you watch! Demand they bring back the local station and content you want and deserve!

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