Dish last night lost 33 local stations in 28 markets due to a carriage dispute with their owner, Hearst Television.
The stations, which include the ABC affiliate in Boston, the NBC affiliate in New Orleans and the NBC station in Baltimore, among many others, last night posted notices at their web sites that their signals have pulled from Dish because the two companies could not reach a new agreement. (The old pact expired on March 1, but Hearst and Dish agreed to a 48-hour extension, which expired last night.)
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“While we had hoped to conclude our negotiations before the extended March 3rd deadline, Dish has continued to insist on including material terms that are less favorable than our current agreement,” the notice states. “In addition, Hearst Television has made significant investments to deliver top quality programming to our viewers and Dish is seeking the right to carry our stations at below market rates, which is neither fair nor reasonable.”
Dish issued a statement saying it wanted to extend the temporary agreement again, but was turned down by Hearst. The satcaster called on federal officials to modify existing law that permits a local station to pull its signal if the provider does not meet its carriage demands. By federal law, a TV provider can not carry a channel without its consent.
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You can see a complete list of the Hearst Television stations by clicking here. Hearst says its stations reach more than 21 million U.S. households. Dish and Hearst last engaged in a fee fight in 2014, but the dispute was settled with a new pact after a 14-hour blackout.
— Phillip Swann
What the article doesn’t say is that it also last month started charging (at least Boston) customers $10/month extra for local channels…while simultaneously dropping them. Highly hypocritical.