UPDATE 1-AT&T, Scripps Networks in deal on programs

Mon Nov 8, 2010 1:06am GMT

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* U-verse regains Scripps' Food Network, other channels

* AT&T says satisfied this is a fair deal

* U-verse had lost access to Scripps programs Friday

NEW YORK, Nov 7 (Reuters) - AT&T Inc (T.N) reached a deal with Scripps Networks (SNI.N) on Sunday, resuming access to popular channels like the Food Network and Cooking Channel for its U-verse customers.

AT&T's 2.7 million U-verse television customers had lost access on Friday to the Scripps Networks' channels after negotiations over programming fees hit an impasse. [ID:nN05149632]

"We're very satisfied that this is a fair deal that benefits our U-verse customers," AT&T said in a statement.

"The terms and costs of the deal recognize our growing subscriber base and give us the tools and content rights to compete with all other providers."

AT&T U-verse had said on Friday that Scripps, which also owns HGTV and GAC, was asking AT&T to pay "double what other competitors pay." AT&T also said at the time that Scripps Networks wanted a "premium price for inferior access to their content for our customers on other platforms."

AT&T U-verse and Scripps Networks were the latest companies battling over programming fees in a year packed with disputes.

News Corp's (NWSA.O) Fox was recently involved in two disputes with Cablevision Systems Corp (CVC.N) and Dish Network Corp (DISH.O) subscribers that involved a blackout of some Fox programming.

Last March Cablevision customers lost Walt Disney Co's (DIS.N) ABC for several hours until 15 minutes into the live telecast of the Academy Awards. (Reporting by Paritosh Bansal; additional reporting by Jennifer Saba; Editing by Dhara Ranasinghe)

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