Dish tonight could lose 12 network affiliates in eight markets due to a fee fight with their owner, Bonten Media.
Update: The deadline for a new pact has been moved to Tuesday night, Bonten announced tonight.
The stations have posted a notice at their web sites that the signals could be removed this evening if the two companies do not reach a new carriage pact.
“While both Dish and our stations are working earnestly to resolve this matter, there is the potential this could be a long interruption of service,” the notice states.
The disagreement is over how much Dish should pay to carry the 12 local channels.
“WCYB makes significant investments in the quality news, network and syndicated programming to our viewers and we are asking Dish to compensate us adequately for the right to distribute our programming to its subscribers,” Bonten says in the web notice.
Dish has not issued a comment on the dispute, but pay TV providers in fee fights snormally say the programmer/broadcaster is asking for excessive fees, a charge normally denied by the programmer/broadcaster.
The stations that could be blacked out on Dish tonight include: WCTB-TV, the NBC affiliate in the Tri-Cities market of Tennessee and Virginia; WEMT-TV, the Fox affiliate in the same Tri-Cities market; WCTI-TV, the ABC affiliate in Greenville, North Carolina; WFXI-TV and WTDO-TV, the Fox affiliates in Greenville and New Bern, North Carolina; and KTXS-TV, the ABC affiliate in Abilene, Texas. Click here for a complete list of Bonten’s stations.
— Phillip Swann