[08/26/10 - 04:47 AM]
Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel Threatened with Removal from At&t U-Verse(R) TV's Nationwide Channel Lineup
Customers will lose access to both channels if a new carriage distribution agreement is not reached by Tuesday, August 31.

[via press release from The Hallmark Channel]


America's Most Trusted Family Networks Will Be Dropped By AT&T U-verse If Carriage Agreement Is Not Reached

STUDIO CITY, CA - August 26, 2010 - AT&T U-verse(R) TV customers will lose access to Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel, the nation's most popular family-friendly cable television networks, if a new carriage distribution agreement is not reached by Tuesday, August 31 (midnight ET). AT&T U-verse sent postcards on August 1 informing its customers they may lose Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel if an agreement is not reached by that time. More recently, AT&T notified Hallmark Channels of the possible drop. Negotiations are currently at a standstill. Viewers are encouraged to call 1-888-MADE-4-FAMILY or go to www.donttakemyhallmarkchannels.com to request to keep the networks.

Bill Abbott, President and CEO, Hallmark Channels, said, "Hallmark Channels 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. At the present time, however, talks are not progressing and it is looking more likely that Hallmark Channels will be dropped from AT&T. This would be a tremendous loss to viewers who look to Hallmark Channels, America's most trusted family networks, for programming that connects people emotionally."

Joan Gundlach, Executive Vice President, Distribution, added, "AT&T U-verse TV recently went through a notable carriage renewal and is implementing the scare tactics it used to negotiate with another programmer against Hallmark Channels, one of the nation's last surviving independent cable networks. It is disappointing that AT&T U-verse does not see the value we bring to their customers and that they would wield their power to strong-arm our channels."

Hallmark Channel, which among ad-supported entertainment cable networks, ranks second for its family-friendly viewing (February �10 Millward Brown Family Friendly TV Evaluation Study), 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 September 13. Additionally, Hallmark Channel is best known for its holiday-themed programming. The network's Original Movies are high-quality and highly rated. Last December, Hallmark Channel had the highest-rated cable television movies of the week three out of four weeks.

On September 7, Hallmark Channel will announce a Q4 original programming slate that includes 14 Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premieres with stars that include Shannen Doherty, Catherine Bell, Daphne Zuniga, Doris Roberts, and more; the US Television Premiere of "Hachi: A Dog's Tale," starring Richard Gere, Joan Allen and Jason Alexander; three original music specials; the World Premiere of a Hallmark Channel Original Animated Special; live coverage of "The 122nd Tournament of Roses Parade," and much more.

Hallmark Channel, owned and operated by Crown Media Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: CRWN), is a 24-hour basic cable network that provides a diverse slate of high-quality entertainment programming available in high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) to a national audience of 90 million subscribers. The top tier program service is distributed through more than 5,450 cable systems and communities as well as direct-to-home satellite services across the country. Hallmark Channel is the nation's leading network in providing quality family programming with an ambitious slate of original TV movies, general entertainment and home and lifestyle content. Hallmark Channel's sibling network is Hallmark Movie Channel, also available in HD and SD, which focuses on family-friendly movies with a mix of classic theatrical films, presentations from the acclaimed Hallmark Hall of Fame library, original Hallmark Channel movies and special events.

For more information, please visit www.donttakemyhallmarkchannels.com

  [august 2010]  

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