TYSONS, Va.—Tegna has issued a warning to Dish subscribers that they may lose access to local Tegna-owned broadcast stations at 9:00 p.m. EDT on October 6.
Tegna noted that the carriage agreement had already expired. Tegna had given Dish an extension but were unable to reach a new deal.
In a statement issued to TV Tech, Tegna spokesperson Anne Bentley noted that “we are committed to reaching a fair, market-based agreement with Dish based on the competitive terms we’ve used to reach deals with numerous other providers that reflect the current market. Thus far, Dish has refused to agree to such terms, which is why we have begun informing Dish customers that they may lose access to their local Tegna station and our valuable programming. We hope that Dish is willing to negotiate a market-based deal before tomorrow night’s deadline, and doesn’t take away their customers’ local news, weather, sports and network programs.”
In response Dish issued a press release asserting that Tegna "is demanding a massive increase to nearly a billion dollars in fees for its programming and is using viewers as a bargaining chip in their negotiations.”
"Businesses should have the opportunity to be profitable, but there's a big difference between running a profitable business and taking blatant advantage of consumers," said Brian Neylon, group president, Dish TV in a statement. "Tegna is demanding an unreasonable fee increase — an increase the programmer knows will directly impact its viewers."
"There is still time to reach an agreement with Tegna that is fair for all parties involved, especially our customers," Neylon also said. "As many Americans look forward to tuning in to football games this fall, and stay aware of the latest health and safety news, we hope Tegna sees how important it is to come to a deal that is beneficial for all."
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.
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