Sinclair Warns That Dish “Expected” to Drop 108 Stations

Sinclair Broadcast Group
(Image credit: Sinclair)

BALTIMORE, Md.—Sinclair Broadcast Group has announced that it is unlikely that a carriage agreement with Dish Network will be reached before the current deal expires on August 16, 2021 for Sinclair’s broadcast stations and Tennis Channel. 

As a result, all Sinclair broadcast TV stations and Tennis Channel would no longer be carried by Dish Network, the company said. In total, 108 broadcast TV stations are expected to be dropped, including 97 ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC affiliates.

The move would impact 3.5 million Dish subs in 38% of the country. 

“We have tried unsuccessfully to reach fair and customary terms with Dish Network for the renegotiation of our retransmission consent,” stated David Gibber, Sinclair’s senior vice president and general counsel. “Given the status of these negotiations, we feel it is important to alert Dish Network subscribers to the real risk that some of their favorite stations will no longer be available through Dish Network including their access to live, local news, popular syndicated programming, sports programming including college and NFL football, and the network programming of our ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and CW affiliates in those markets.”

Sinclair did not discuss the sticking points in the negotiations but a key issue is likely to be Sinclair’s regional sports networks, which were dropped by Dish in 2019. 

Dish's response can be found here (opens in new tab).

This article was updated after Sinclair revised downward the number of stations impacted by the dispute from 112 to 108. 

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.