Dish has reached an agreement for a new carriage pact with Gray Television, averting the blackout of roughly 100 Gray-owned local channels, according to social media posts and web notices posted by the stations.
The Gray-owned stations yesterday posted notices at their web sites saying Dish had informed the company that it planned to drop their signals at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday. But about 30 minutes after the deadline tonight, the stations began alerting their viewers a new deal had been signed.
A source close to the talks say the companies have reached a deal in principle and now will proceed to iron out the details. Until the agreement is finalized, they agreed to an extension to the old pact.
Update: Gray has issued a press release confirming a deal “in principle” has been reached.
Dish has yet to comment on the dispute.
Gray owns or operates roughly 100 network affiliates in largely small to mid-sized markets. You can see a complete list of its stations here.
The Gray fee fight is not the only one that Dish was involved in. The satcaster tonight could lose 12 network affiliates in eight markets due to a fee fight with their owner, Bonten Media.
The two companies had set a 7 p.m. ET deadline for tonight, but have yet to comment on whether a new deal has been reached.
The Bonten 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.
In related news, Dish today also signed a new carriage pact with the NBC affiliate in Salt Lake City, returning that station to its lineup after a 20-day blackout.
== Phillip Swann