- Associated Press - Thursday, July 15, 2010

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Averting a standoff over programming fees, AT&T Inc. said Thursday it has reached a deal to keep channels AMC, IFC and WE tv on the tube for its 2.3 million U-verse TV subscribers.

Last-minute negotiations with Rainbow Media, a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corp., resulted in a deal after the previous arrangement expired at midnight on Wednesday.

Both sides had agreed to keep the signals going while talks continued.

A disagreement could have resulted in U-verse TV subscribers in 22 states being unable to watch the season premiere of the popular AMC show “Mad Men” on July 25.

Terms were not released but AT&T said in a statement it was able to reach a “fair deal.”

Rainbow said in a statement the deal “truly recognizes the value of our networks,” and added the agreement included Sundance Channel.

Rainbow acquired Sundance for $496 million from CBS Corp., NBC Universal and Robert Redford in 2008.

Even though an agreement for Sundance had not expired, lining up its expiration terms with other Rainbow channels could provide it with better negotiating leverage next time around.

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