Cox Stations Dropped From Dish TV

Dish Network
(Image credit: Dish Network)

COLORADO—Cox Media Group stations in nine markets were dropped from the Dish TV satellite pay TV lineup on the evening of November 28 after Cox and Dish Networks were unable to agree on terms for a new carriage deal. 

"Cox's refusal to negotiate in good faith and subsequently forcing a blackout of its stations for Dish customers is deplorable," said Brian Neylon, group president, Dish TV. "Cox is demanding an exorbitant rate increase, negotiating for channels it does not yet own and insists on payment from customers who do not subscribe to local broadcasting, even as it continues to underinvest in local programming. Broadcasters like Cox put profits ahead of the public interests they are supposed to serve, even when its viewership has declined for years."

In a press release announcing that the channels had been removed from its lineup, Dish also contended that “over the past two years, Cox's viewership has significantly declined on Dish TV, indicating that many viewers have moved to other channels for their entertainment and news. With its decreased viewership, Cox is attempting to recoup its losses by demanding increased rates of nearly 75 percent from Dish customers.”

In response, CMG posted a statement on the website of WSB-TV in Atlanta, complaining that “Dish Network removed Channel 2 after the satellite provider refused to agree to a fair deal for a new retransmission consent agreement with Cox Media Group…Despite our efforts to negotiate in good faith, Dish still refuses to do a fair deal and has now blacked out 13 CMG stations, including Channel 2. They go dark only if Dish so chooses. CMG is hopeful that Dish will abandon its well-worn path of blacking out TV stations to the detriment of consumers in favor of meaningful negotiations toward a fair deal.”

“Cox Media Group is simply asking Dish to pay a fair rate for the quality local news and entertainment programming we invest heavily in, in addition to the prime-time and sports programming we pay to secure from our networks,” the statement said. 

Cox noted that the station’s programming “remains available for viewers to access over the air, and this dispute will not affect the vast majority of viewers, who are customers of other video providers. It should be noted that Channel 2 has reached agreements with virtually every other major cable and satellite distributor. This is simply Dish doing the same old tactic of dropping valuable stations."

The dispute impacts Dish subscribers who view various ABC, FOX, CBS and NBC stations in nine markets. Impacted stations include:

  • (ABC: WSB) - Atlanta, Ga.
  • (FOX: WFXT) - Boston, Mass.
  • (ABC: WSOC) - Charlotte, N.C.
  • (CBS: WHIO) - Dayton, Ohio
  • (FOX: KLSR) - Eugene, Ore.
  • (FOX: WFOX) - Jacksonville, Fla.
  • (ABC: WFTV) - Orlando, Fla.
  • (NBC: WPXI) - Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • (CBS: KIRO) - Seattle, Wash.
George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.