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Byron Allen settles discrimination suit against  AT&T, gains carriage for seven channels

(January 5, 2016) According to news sources, Byron Allen's Entertainment Studios has settled a racial discrimination lawsuit brought against AT&T, and has been given distribution for seven of his cable channels on DirecTV and U-verse. The only comment offered by representatives from Entertainment Studios and AT&T was: "The matter has been resolved."

The lawsuit filed by Entertainment Studios and its affiliate non-profit, the National Association of African-American Owned Media, claimed that AT&T engaged in racial discrimination because its had no distribution agreements with channels that were "100% African-American-owned companies."

The suit came as AT&T was seeking federal approval for a $48 billion takeover of DirecTV. That deal was concluded last July. In August, Allen and the NAAAAOM filed a similar discrimination lawsuit against Comcast and Time Warner Cable. That matter is still pending.

As part of the settlement, DirecTV began carriage of Entertainment Studios' Comedy.TV and Justice Central.TV. U-verse will provide distribution for Recipe.TV, ES.TV, Comedy.TV, MyDestination.TV, Cars TV and Pets TV. The new carriage agreement means a reach of some 26 million domestic subscribers.


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