WHIO-TV in negotiations with DirecTV, AT&T U-Verse: Frequently Asked Questions

DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse FAQs

1. What is happening?

By law, Channel 7, WHIO-TV must negotiate carriage agreements with satellite companies like DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse. Usually, these deals are reached without any disruption to your service. In fact, our company has negotiated dozens of agreements with only the rarest of disruptions. Unfortunately, DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse have refused to reach a fair, market-based deal to carry Channel 7, WHIO-TV. Our existing agreement with DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse expired at 3 a.m. on New Year’s morning. We are continuing to negotiate with DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse, but DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse have refused to agree to reasonable terms for the valuable programming we provide.

2. As a DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse customer, what can I do to continue to watch my favorite shows on Channel 7, WHIO-TV?

The best thing viewers can do is Call DirecTV at 1-800-531-5000 and AT&T Uverse at 1-800-288-2020. Tell DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse that you pay them a lot of money to watch your favorite shows on Channel 7, WHIO-TV, including News Center 7 local news, Storm Center 7 Weather, NFL Football and CBS programming. Tell DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse that if they drop Channel 7, WHIO-TV, then you will drop DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse.

3. Why does Channel 7, WHIO-TV charge cable and satellite operators a fee to carry their programming?

Station is among the highest rated channels on DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse. Producing and broadcasting high rated, top-quality programming is very expensive. We invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in our local news, weather, and emergency programming. Without the fees from cable and satellite operators, this would not be possible. Channel 7, WHIO-TV could not afford to broadcast including News Center 7 local news, Storm Center 7 Weather, NFL Football and CBS programming.

4. What is a "fair" price for Channel 7, WHIO-TV's programming and why is DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse refusing to pay that price?

We have carriage agreements with every other major cable and satellite company that is carrying Channel 7, WHIO-TV, including DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse and Comcast. DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse, however, insists that it should pay substantially lower rates than what it pays competing video providers. Naturally, we cannot give away our product for less than it is worth.

5. What does DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse pay for other channels?

Based on publicly available information, DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse pays over $6 per subscriber per month for ESPN. In other words, $6 from your monthly bill goes straight to ESPN. Our ratings are much higher than ESPN’s! Yet, we are asking for less than one-third of what DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse pays to ESPN. More importantly, ESPN has NO local programming, NO local employees, NO local investments, and a very small local audience – unlike Channel 7, WHIO-TV.

6. Won't rates to subscribers go up if DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse has to pay Channel 7, WHIO-TV?

Whether rates go up depends on decisions made by DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse. Like all cable and satellite companies, DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse is already charging you to receive Channel 7, WHIO-TV as part of your monthly bill. DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse should stop over-paying for channels its customers do not watch and re-allocate that money to the channels, like Channel 7, WHIO-TV that its subscribers turn to every day. In any event, we do not control how much DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse pays to other channels or how it manages its business. We simply ask that DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse pay a fair market price for our content, just as its competitors do; and we have and will continue to negotiate with DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse in good faith in an effort to successfully complete a deal with them.

7. If DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse stops carrying Channel 7, WHIO-TV, will I get a refund on my bill?

It is up to DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse to resolve such questions with its customers. But, you could call DirecTV at 1-800-531-5000 and AT&T Uverse at 1-800-288-2020 to demand a refund because if DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse drops your favorite programming you no longer will be getting what you pay for.

8. Is there anything the public can do to help make sure that Channel 7, WHIO-TV remains on DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse?

The best way to influence this controversy is for you to register your support of how important it is for them to continue to carry the station by calling DirecTV at 1-800-531-5000 and AT&T Uverse at 1-800-288-2020. You pay DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse a lot of money. It will listen to your voices, or you can contact any number of other providers that are committed to providing you with the programming you watch every day:

Regardless, we will continue to work hard to try and get a successful outcome to this negotiation so that you do not lose live access to any of your favorite programming, but the ball remains in DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse's court to step-up like all of their competitors and peers have done.

How to watch WHIO-TV without cable or satellite 


All HD TV’s can receive all programming on WHIO-TV (Channel 7.1) and MeTV/WHIO Classic (Channel 7.2). There is no charge, but you may need to buy an antenna (starting around $20) depending on where you live.


All WHIO-TV Newscasts are streamed live on whio.com and the WHIO news and weather apps. While we don’t have rights to stream syndicated or CBS programming there, we do offer newscast replays until the next newscast is Live.

To get CBS programming, there is CBS All-Access. It comes with a monthly fee of $5.99, but there is a one-week free trial. Find out more here.


And, new NFL rights on CBS All-Access!



Over the Top – or “OTT” – provides programming to your internet connected TV. NewsCenter 7 is now available on Roku, Vizio, Samsung, and Amazon Fire and Apple TV (newer models). If you have any of these, all you have to do is search for WHIO, and you’ll be able to watch NewsCenter7 news on your TV.

You’ll also be able to watch news videos, see photo galleries and get weather information from the StormCenter 7 team. CBS All Access is available OTT as well.