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Posts Tagged ‘DISH Network’

Bonten Media Stations Warn Viewers of Possible DISH Network Blackout

bonten media group logoBonten Media Group and DISH Network are facing a Saturday deadline to negotiate a new carriage agreement before Bonten’s 16 stations go dark on DISH.

On some Bonten stations, like KECI and KCFW in Missoula, Mont., viewers are being warned about the possibility of a service interruption. “We are simply advising customers that this could happen so they’re not surprised or caught unprepared if they want to prepare,” Richard Reingold, vice president and general manager of Bonten’s Montana stations, told the Missoulian.

The current carriage agreement expires December 8. Bonten Media says “good faith negotiations” are continuing.

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Media General Asks FCC to Take Sides in Retrans Negotiations with DISH Network

media general_dishThe growing animosity between DISH Network and Media General is now being played out in front of the FCC after Media General filed its own complaint with the Commission saying DISH is abusing the process in its battle over retransmission fees.

DISH Network filed a complaint with the FCC on October 18, asking the FCC to force Media General to negotiate in good faith after negotiations with the station group that started on October 1 stalled. DISH claimed Media General didn’t talk to them for 11 days.

Media General has now filed its own complaint with FCC asking the Commission to dismiss DISH’s complaint and “refer DISH to the Enforcement Bureau for consideration of the appropriate actions for DISH’s abuse of the Commission’s processes and for its misrepresentations to and lack of candor before the Commission.” Media General is also asking DISH to pay its attorney’s fees for responding to what they call a frivolous complaint.

The blackout affects DISH customers in 17 markets including Columbus, OH, Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL, and Hattiesburg, MS.

[TVNewsCheck]

DISH Says Media General Not Playing Fair in Retrans Fight, Asks FCC for Help

media general_dishDISH Network has appealed to the FCC to “immediately require Media General to negotiate in good faith to resolve a blackout that began Oct. 1.”

The satellite broadcaster released a statement saying it told the FCC in a recently filed complaint, “Media General’s conduct violates the Commission’s rules requiring good faith negotiation for retransmission consent rights, because, among other things, Media General failed to respond for 11 days to DISH’s last pre-blackout offer.”

>UPDATE: On Friday, Media General responded by saying in part, “Unfortunately, DISH would prefer to manufacture a dispute, and now ask for government intervention, for its own purposes, rather than pay us a fair, market-based rate for the value of our stations.” You can read the entire statement after the jump.

DISH executive vice president Dave Shull said in the statement, “DISH customers and Media General viewers were without their shows and events for 11 days before Media General would even contact us.” Shull added, “We reacted with a counter offer within hours and Media General has yet to respond. DISH is asking the FCC to act expeditiously to address Media General’s bad faith, push them back to the negotiating table and submit to mediation to get programming back to consumers.” Read more

Raycom Stations Go Dark on Dish Network

Raycom Media stations in 36 markets have gone dark on Dish Network after the two companies failed to reach an new carriage agreement by midnight Wednesday.

“We are ready to listen to a fair proposal from Raycom to bring this impasse to a swift end,” Dish director of programming Sruta Vootukuru said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the broadcaster has not been willing to pursue an agreement that would have avoided this disruption of service to our customers and Raycom viewers.”

“We understand this is frustrating for DISH Network customers, we share their frustration, and we are committed to doing everything we can to resolve this issue,” Raycom Media president and CEO Paul McTear said.

CBS and Time Warner are facing a Friday deadline in a similar dispute.

Gannett and DISH Reach Agreement

Gannett released a simple one sentence statement announcing an agreement with DISH Network this morning:

“Gannett and DISH Network have reached an agreement regarding DISH Network’s continued retransmission of Gannett stations.”

Midnight last night was the deadline before viewers in 19 cities would lose access to the Gannett owned ABC, NBC, CBS and MyNetworkTV stations on the satellite TV provider’s network.  Carriage continued into the overnight hours before an agreement was made this morning. No details of the pact have been released.

The sticking point was the use of the auto hop function known as “The Hopper,” a feature allowing viewers to skip commercials on recorded programming which could adversely affect revenue for stations.

Another Broadcaster Targets DISH’s ‘Hopper’: Gannett Threatens to Pull Programming

According to Reuters, Gannett is threatening to pull its TV stations from the DISH Network if the satellite TV provider doesn’t block the Auto Hop feature on its DVRs or pay a premium to the station group for the service.  DISH’s “Hopper” DVR with the Auto Hop feature allows viewers to skip commercials on recorded shows which may result in a loss of revenue for TV stations.

While Reuters said DISH is willing to pay Gannett more money to continue using the feature, acceding to the station group would likely hurt their business, “Gannett’s demands translate into more than a 300 percent rate increase, which would likely result in higher monthly fees for consumers.”

Both parties have until Friday to settle the dispute before DISH customers could lose ABC, CBS, NBC and MyNetworkTV programming 23 markets across the country, including Atlanta (WATL), Washington, D.C. (WUSA), Denver (KUSA), Minneapolis (KARE) and Sacramento (KXTV). You can see the complete list of Gannett stations by clicking here.

CBS is involved in a similar dispute with DISH Network, reducing the heads of both companies into what amounts to a war of words, with DISH Network CEO Joe Clayton accusing CBS chairman Les Moonves of being a bully.  Click here for a an article in the Chicago Tribune about the exchange.

[dcrtv.com]

Dispatch Stations Go Dark on DISH Network in Retransmission Feud

A retransmission feud between DISH Network and Dispatch Broadcast Group, the parent company of WTHR in Indianapolis and WBNS in Columbus, has taken a nasty turn.

The stations were pulled from DISH’s lineup on Friday at midnight after the two parties failed to agree on a carriage agreement. In a video that has been broadcast on WTHR in a loop since the blackout began, a DISH spokesperson says Dispatch “has blocked this station from the DISH lineup by not renewing its contract with us at fair and reasonable terms.”

“Dispatch has demanded a massive price increase in exchange for the rights to your local channels, a price that would translate into substantially higher costs for you,” the spokesperson says (video after the jump). “We can’t allow that to happen.”

In a statement on its Facebook page, WTHR said DISH’s claim “just isn’t true.” Read more

New Orleans’ WVUE Goes Dark for Dish Subscribers

Dish Network subscribers in New Orleans lost access to WVUE, the Fox-affiliate in New Orleans, earlier this week, after the two parties could not reach a retransmission consent agreement by the January 31 deadline.

Dish Network said that WVUE, which is owned by Louisiana Media, is asking for affiliate fee increases as much as 300%. David Schull, senior vice president of programming at Dish, said in a statement that WVUE is being “unreasonable in its demands.”

WVUE addressed the disagreement in a statement on the station website, saying negotiations continue “in order to reach a fair agreement and to restore Dish’s carriage of WVUE.”

LIN Media Stations Return to DISH as Companies Reach New Retrans Agreement

LIN Media stations are back on DISH Network systems this morning as the two companies were able to reach a new retrans agreement over the weekend.

On Sunday, LIN announced that it had entered into a new deal with DISH, ending weeks of intense negotiations as well a black-out that began March 5th.

“We are pleased that our negotiations with DISH Network resulted in a fair resolution,” said Vincent Sadusky, LIN’s president and CEO. “We thank our viewers and our advertisers for their tremendous support.”

In announcing the agreement, DISH said that it “is pleased to have reached a deal” that resumed the carriage of 27 LIN stations in 17 markets. “We sincerely appreciate the patience our customers have shown during this time.” Read more

LIN Media Pulls 27 Stations from DISH

At midnight on Friday, LIN Media pulled 27 of its stations off of DISH systems in 17 markets. The black-out came as LIN was unable to reach a new retrans agreement with DISH before the previous contract expired on the 4th.

“We only want what is fair for our local stations,” Vincent Sadusky, LIN’s president and CEO, said as the company announced the black-out. “We will continue negotiating with DISH so we may reach an agreement.”

DISH shot back on Friday, saying that LIN is seeking an “outrageous” 175% rate increase in the first year.

“LIN Media is simply being greedy, insisting on a rate increase so immense that DISH Network and its customers couldn’t possible absorb it,” said Dave Shull, senior vice president of programming for DISH.

The black-out, which includes stations in Providence, Buffalo, and Indianapolis, began just as the FCC was working out new rules to avoid such extreme negotiating tactics. Read more

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