Tegna-Dish Dispute Continues

(Image credit: Dish Network)

TYSONS, Va.–The carriage dispute between the Tegna station group and Dish continues to heat up. 

The battle over retransmission fees started in early October when Dish removed Tegna stations from its satellite lineup. Tegna said that Dish “refused to reach a fair, market-based agreement,” while Dish decried Tegna’s proposed “massive increase” in retrans fees. 

In mid-October, Dish filed a complaint with the FCC, claiming that Tegna was not engaging in “good faith” negotiations to resolve the dispute. This week, Tegna responded with its own complaint.    

“As we speak, millions of Dish customers are being deprived of valued local and national news, weather coverage, NFL and college football and top-rated entertainment shows. Instead of working to restore our programming, DISH is abusing the FCC’s processes and, more importantly, wasting their customers’ time with baseless complaints,” Tegna said.

“Our response and cross-complaint show that it is Dish which has acted in bad faith, not only by obstructing negotiations over many months but also through the distortions it has presented to the public and the FCC. Unfortunately, Dish’s behavior is consistent with its track record of obstructive tactics. Last year alone, Dish deprived its customers of more than 230 different channels due to disputes like this one. In addition, the company has a long history of abusing the process by bringing business disputes to regulators and courts.

“We welcome the FCC’s review of Dish’s conduct, but our main focus remains on reaching a fair, market-based deal, just as we have with Dish’s competitors over the past several years. We yet again call on DISH to engage in serious negotiations with us to restore its subscribers’ access to our stations’ valued programming.” 

Tegna continues to encourage Dish subscribers to make their voices heard on this matter and, if Dish continues to deny them access to channels they value, to consider switching to providers that carry those channels.”

The blackout impacts viewers of various ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, CW, MNT and TDO stations in 53 markets nationwide. For a full list of affected stations, click here.

Tom Butts

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched digitalbroadcasting.com for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (www.tvtech.com), the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.