Deal signed after deadline will keep AMC, IFC and WE tv on the air for 2.3 million viewers
AT&T's 2.3 million U-Verse television customers won't lose "Mad Men" thanks to a deal struck hours after the deadline had passed.
Contentious contract talks between AT&T and Rainbow Media reached a resolution approximately 19 hours after a midnight deadline.
If the two companies had been unable to reach a new carriage agreement, U-Verse subscribers would have lost access to Rainbow Media three cable channels — IFC, AMC and WE tv. AMC's hit retro drama "Mad Men" was repeatedly brought up by both sides as a bargaining chip in the dispute.
Rainbow Media is owned by Cablevision, a company with a long history of nasty contract battles.
Both companies were quiet as the deadline passed in the wee hours of Thursday morning. Individuals close to the talks said they reached a deal at about 7 p.m. Thursday evening Eastern time.
AT&T released a statement saying, "We are happy to report that AMC, IFC and WE tv will remain on AT&T U-verse® TV." The company declined to comment on the specifics of the deal or the negotiations.
Rainbow's announcement about the deal said, "We look forward to continuing our partnership with AT&T and are excited to continue to bring their subscribers our award-winning programming, including the new season of AMC’s 'Mad Men.'"
Season four of "Mad Men" premieres July 25.
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