AT&T U-VERSE(R) DROPS HALLMARK CHANNEL AND HALLMARK MOVIE CHANNEL
America's Most Trusted Family Networks Are Removed From the
AT&T U-verse Nationwide Channel Lineup
STUDIO CITY, CA - September 1, 2010 - AT&T U-verse(R) TV has dropped Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel from its channel lineup due to an inability to reach a new carriage agreement. Both networks went dark for AT&T customers at 12:01 a.m., ET on September 1.
AT&T U-verse first notified its customers via postcards on August 1 that they could lose Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel if an agreement wasn't reached by that time. Negotiations hit a standstill as of Aug. 26.
Once news of the potential drop was circulated, Hallmark Channels' viewers were quick to send a strong message of support via Facebook, Twitter, e-mails and by phone asking AT&T to keep the networks.
Bill Abbott, President and CEO, Hallmark Channels, said, "When Hallmark Channels announced that we were likely to be dropped from AT&T U-verse's national channel lineup, I was moved by the immediate support from our loyal viewers. Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel represent the 100-year legacy of quality and trust of the Hallmark brand. We are the nation's family networks, and we will continue to produce quality programs that connect people emotionally."
Hallmark Channels is continuing to encourage its dedicated viewers to call 1-888-MADE-4-FAMILY or go to www.donttakemyhallmarkchannels.com to request that AT&T keep both channels.
Meanwhile, Hallmark Channels is willing to re-start negotiations toward the distribution agreement as long as they are fair and in good faith.
"I was stunned by the apparent disregard for the facts in AT&T's recent statement regarding our negotiations. However, if they are really serious, my team and I are ready for truly fair negotiations," said Abbott.
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 September 13 with the launch of season six of "The Martha Stewart Show."
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.