Station group sues Dish Network

Fisher Communications, a TV station owner in 13 markets, has filed a $1 million lawsuit against Dish Network, claiming it violated the terms of its carriage agreement.

The agreement between the parties expired Dec. 17. Dish dropped Fisher’s stations after the two sides were unable to agree on a new deal.

Fisher claimed that it had offered to allow Dish to continue carrying the channels until Dec. 22, citing the winter storms in the Northwest “to ensure that Dish customers in the region could continue to receive news and weather updates.” Dish, it said, declined the offer.

“Fisher Communications’ lawsuit is without merit,” Dish Network said in a statement. “They are asking for payment on a station that elected Must Carry and by statute Dish Network does not owe any money for that station. We are bewildered by their allegation that any money could be owed on a Must Carry station.”

“Furthermore," Dish said, "Fisher has asked for over an 80 percent increase from our customers, who should not be required to ’bail out’ Fisher management for underperforming stations.”