ENGLEWOOD, Colo.—After Tegna and Dish were unable to reach a new carriage agreement, the Tegna-owned local stations were dropped from the Dish TV lineup on the evening of October 6.
The blackout impacts 3 million Dish subscribers in 53 markets.
In a statement, Tegna spokesperson Anne Bentley said “Dish has refused to reach a fair, market-based agreement with us based on the competitive terms we’ve used to reach deals with numerous other providers that reflect the current market. While Dish is one of our smaller distributors, we regret any inconvenience for any of our customers, and hope that Dish will come back to the table to get a deal done to return our valuable programming to their system.”
In a press release on the blackout, Dish complained that two parties could not come to an agreement because Tegna has been asking for a “massive fee increase to nearly a billion dollars and holding viewers hostage during football season.”
“We made a fair offer to keep Tegna stations available to our customers, but Tegna rejected it, forcing the removal of its channels,” said Brian Neylon, group president, Dish TV. “Tegna is looking to sell its stations to the highest bidder and is simply trying to exploit Dish customers as a way to get the maximum price and further fatten their wallets.”
“Tegna is demanding we pay for 100% of our subscribers in their markets, regardless of whether these subscribers receive or want Tegna’s programming,” added Neylon. “As one of the nation’s largest local station owners, they are more interested in increasing their bottom line by charging our customers more money than providing programming to viewers under fair terms.”
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.
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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.