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Day 26: Dish vs. Hearst

Dish subscribers, do you know where your local Hearst channels have gone? Well, they are still there, but just not on your satellite service.

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Yes, it’s day 26 of the fee fight between the two mega-huge companies that have left Dish viewers without broadcast affiliates in 26 Hearst markets. And there’s no end in sight for the dispute that gets a little nastier with each passing day.

Dish actually has been quiet in the last several days, but Hearst this week posted a scathing attack on the satcaster at its station web sites under the headline, “The Truth About Ongoing Negotiations With Dish.”

The notice counters recurring Dish claims such as Hearst is asking for excessive fees to carry their signals and that Hearst rejected Dish’s offer of an extension in the talks that would have prevented any blackout.


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“The increase we are seeking is completely in line with what other providers are paying us and is certainly not double what DISH was previously paying. This amount is a fraction of what DISH charges viewers to watch our programming,” Hearst says in the statement.

The company later adds: “Our agreement with DISH expired at 11:59 p.m. on February 28. In hopes of reaching a fair agreement, we extended our agreement another forty-eight (48) hours, but DISH refused to offer a meaningful counter-proposal. Nonetheless, our negotiators continue efforts to reach an agreement; however, it remains clear that DISH does not intend to make a reasonable proposal.”


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Hearst also says Dish is trying to “mislead” its customers and it’s responsible for 60 percent of industry blackouts in programming disputes.

Dish has not responded to the latest charges, but it’s becoming clear that the two companies are digging in their heels for a lengthy fight if necessary. With the college basketball’s Final Four tournament set to tip off this weekend, that’s particularly bad news for Dish subscribers in Des Moines and Louisville where Hearst owns the CBS affiliates.

— Phillip Swann

About TV Answer Man (747 Articles)

The TV Answer Man is veteran journalist Phillip Swann who has covered the TV technology scene for more than two decades. He will report on the latest news and answer your questions regarding new devices and services that are changing the way you watch television.

29 Comments on Day 26: Dish vs. Hearst

  1. Possible that Dish wants to carry Hearst TV stations but Hearst won’t allow Dish because Hearst likely actually been using Duane Lammers firm Max Retrans for a consultant to assist Hearst with handling the negotiations to negotiate retransmission consent negotiations with Dish over carriage of Hearst TV stations with Duane Lammers-Max Retrans preferring on failing to allow Dish carriage of Hearst TV stations because Dish ain’t willing to not just only pay up for the increase in carriage fees for the privilege and right of carriage of Hearst TV stations, but also not help pay fees to Duane Lammers firm Max Retrans to assist Hearst in negotiating retransmission consent negotiations with Dish. Duane Lammers-Max Retrans would only allow Dish carriage of Hearst TV stations if it is willing to not just only pay up for the increase in carriage fees for the privilege and right of carriage of Hearst TV stations, but also help pay fees to Duane Lammers firm Max Retrans to assist Hearst in negotiating retransmission consent negotiations with Dish as a precondition allowing Dish carriage of Hearst TV stations if Hearst likely actually been using Duane Lammers firm Max Retrans for a consultant to assist Hearst with handling the negotiations to negotiate retransmission consent negotiations with Dish and recently DIRECTV over carriage of Hearst TV stations.

    The dispute is mainly wanting Dish to pay the increase in retransmission consent fees and how much it wants to pay for Hearst stations to help pay down all the debts for the improvements over at their stations including for the rights for $1.00-2.00 per month to NBC for reverse compensation under Comcast by 2020-2021; $1.00-2.00 per month to CBS for reverse compensation by 2020-2021; $1.00-2.00 per month to ABC for reverse compensation under Disney by 2020-2021; $1.00-2.00 per month to CW for reverse compensation by 2020-2021; up to $1.00-2.00 per month for using ATV Broadcast, Duane Lammers firm Max Retrans, or one of the other consultants Hearst uses to assist Hearst with handling the negotiations to negotiate retransmission consent negotiations with Dish by 2020-2021; up to $1.00-2.00 per month for various miscellaneous items and stuff and things including syndicated programming, pay TV stations for being connected to fiber optic cable line networks allowing the TV stations to be connected to the cable headend, satellite headend, and teleco headend, pay for equipment allowing the local TV station to be able to encode captioning on local newscasts and various live events, pay for updating all weather equipment to serve TV viewers even during poor weather conditions, pay employees equal salaries and wages, utilities, finance payments, property taxes, FCC-related legal expenses including paying fines to the FCC for engaging in various violations and various other civil penalty offenses, enhanced heightened security at the TV stations and at Hearst headquarters, pay property insurance that help the TV station to be able to replaced damages to the TV station studio facility and equipment, pay health care insurance that are costs to the employees through the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare, also would likely want the fees going to help purchase brand new encoders and encoding equipment including video encoders that allow TV stations to live streamed all of the TV stations newscasts and various local events online from the TV stations website and from livestream or newson/watchnewson, broadcasting equipment that would allow Hearst stations using Dual HD with 2 of the Big 4 both in HDTV and a single or dual Little 2/independent in SDTV thanks to improvements in encoders and encoding equipment and other equipment allowing broadcasters and TV stations to be able to transmit 2 1080 or 720 HDTV feeds(either 1 1080 HDTV and 1 720 HDTV feeds on a single RF channel, 2 1080 HDTV feeds on a single RF channel , or 2 720 HDTV feeds on a single RF channel) and 1 to 4 480 SDTV feeds being transmitted on a single TV station digital RF channel and fully upgrade to full HDTV facilities from deal-making with hardware and program vendors, preparing to pay for all brand new equipment for the TV stations to be able to share with another TV station when the incentive auction starts as part of the beginning of the spectrum auction, channel sharing, and channel repacking that started on March 29, 2016 to be able to fully make the transition to fully upgrade to ATSC 3.0 to allow to produce content in 4KTV or 8KTV in the UHDTV format in a few years in the future as part of the ongoing incentive auction as Hearst of one of the 9 original broadcasters and broadcasting groups to back Pearl TV ATSC 3.0 venture, to help launch down payments to possibly pursue in acquiring various TV stations when they are being put up for sale to be bought out by a TV station group or operator by 2020-2021; all in all for the total average cost of the average TV station being up to $3.00-6.00 per month from each subscriber every month by 2020-2021 all by engaging in old rigid Paramount Pictures block booking & blind bidding by tying and old RKO General bribery & dishonest behavioral practices.

  2. I could see paying more if these stations would upgrade to broadcast in 4k, but have not seen that.

  3. And they are not adding outermax hd yet.no deal yet we need more channels.

  4. They are missing 10 channels

  5. The only way to keep prices down is to support dish

  6. I hate my dish network. I will be changing company soon

  7. Hate dish network

    • I agree! I dont care whose fault it is, just negotiate a deal. We receive no compesation for what we agreed on when we signed with them

  8. Mark Sarnes // March 30, 2017 at 7:16 am // Reply

    I’m really disappointed in dish they can’t even put up a working tv guide. Haven’t had it for about a month. To top,it off, you call them about it and the people that help,you are clueless. I’ll be leaving at the end of my contract

    • I’m paying $120 a month so I can watch local weather reports, because there is no TV reception where I live. Now I have to listen to patronizing providers who still enforce our contract agreements while they blame others. Plus the raised our local service $10 to $29 a month for nothing. I’m so upset I can’t sleep.

  9. They need to add outermax hd averybody going to caln them.

  10. Pamela Freeman // March 30, 2017 at 10:45 am // Reply

    Dish should pay for hulu until this is situation is corrected.

  11. John Tomaszewski // March 30, 2017 at 11:00 am // Reply

    Dish network sucks. Do yourself a favor and leave. No other company plays games like they do. They are responsible for 60% of all programing disputes. Btw, local channels look like garbage. I gladly played the $500 early termination fee. Life is to short to be stuck with dish

  12. I am not satisfied with Dish either but there is NO option. We live in an area that doesn’t have affordable “hi speed” anything. What’s a person to do??? If it were just me in the family I would shut the whole mess off. TV totally sucks ! All there is senseless sitcoms, porno on prime time and blood-guts stuff that copies the daily news. Take about brain dead*******

  13. Western Pa... // March 30, 2017 at 1:39 pm // Reply

    Call Dish and complain..I did and they took 30 $ a month off my bill for 6 months …I told 8 of my friends and they got the same thing too…..it showed on my last bill 30.00 credit for 6 months …

  14. Joseph LaPlante // March 30, 2017 at 5:55 pm // Reply

    Love my hopper the hell with hearst

  15. unemploymenthappens // April 2, 2017 at 11:12 am // Reply

    We are in a blacked out city, we lost NBC on dish. $130 a month for TV. We only watch a handful of the couple hundred channels we paid for, NBC being one of them. Everytime I called dish to complain about the impasse they told me to call Hearst. I explained the problem with Hearst is a “you problem.” “I’m not paying Hearst I’m paying you! I’m stuck in a long term contract with you!” They didn’t appreciate that and offered me a whopping $10 off! I finally called last week paid a $260 cancellation fee and I’m now paying $35 a month for streaming TV with no contract. I couldn’t be happier I’m not going back to a satellite company with long term contracts. You are stuck anytime this happens and they could literally loose every channel and you’d still be stuck paying them!

  16. Donald LaQuerre // April 4, 2017 at 2:31 pm // Reply

    you have the same problem with direct tv but worser problems. Had direct tv and told them to shove it when I had reception problems. I callex dish and got $5 off my bill and HBO for $10 a month for a year. At least it helps a little. I was also told they are close to a deal. Now where did I that before.

  17. Dish “Spokes-listener” commercial playing on TV right now about how they listen to their customers. What liars! What nerve to even make this commercial while they rob us of our local channels. When I complained on Facebook and tried to let people know how Dish is responsible for 60% of the blackouts, they blocked me from posting. That’s an example of how they listen to customers!

  18. Bonnie Holaday // April 7, 2017 at 8:56 am // Reply

    I was also blocked by dish from posting my complaint on dish promise. I am so fed up with dish, but like another person who commented I have few options. I am checking with my neighbors to see what company they are using for service. I will be calling dish to see about terminating my contract.

    • The only other choice I have way out here out in the country in the mountains is Directv, and I have read so many horrendous complaints about them that I’m afraid to switch. I was going to switch once before (last time Dish lost a local channel), and Directv refused to honor the special offer I got in the mail, and the rep was very rude. I figured that was a bad omen so stayed with Dish. No cable service out here, and I doubt an antenna would work. Besides, you have to know how to connect and use it, power down your satellite when you want to get the local channel(s), and then restore the satellite when you don’t. I am not tech-savvy at all and would probably wind up not getting any channels! Somebody wrote they got $30 off for 6 months from Dish. They only gave me $10 off for 1 month. Will this impasse ever be resolved and when? I can’t find any updates anywhere, but so far it looks to me like Dish is a liar in this situation, not Hearst.

  19. Jerry Kraft // April 10, 2017 at 8:55 pm // Reply

    Dish is not the heavy in the stand off. Hearst wants them to pay for rebroadcasting. Rebroadcasting doesn’t cost Hearst anything. Why should we allow them to gouge us the users?

    • To the contrary, Dish IS the heavy in this situation, same as they have been historically in many other disputes that resulted in subscribers losing local channels, often for long periods of time. As has already been pointed out, fully 60% of lengthy channel blackouts over a recent 5-yr period have involved Dish. Only one involved Directv, and the other involved Time-Warner. Those disputes Dish were NOT involved in were resolved in much less time. Hearst and other channel providers ALL charge for local channels. To use that as an argument against Hearst is ridiculous. Dish keeps pointing out that Directv also had a dispute earlier this year, but they fail to note that it was resolved in 6 days, thanks to Directv’s and Hearst’s demonstrated willingness to negotiate! We’re now going on 6 WEEKS without local channels thanks to Dish, which doesn’t mind raising our bills continuously despite depriving us of the local channels we’re paying for. It’s all about their profits, not their customers.

      • Jerry Kraft is right. Sue Barry and others blaming Dish are being short-sighted. If Dish caved and accepted Hearst’s terms, yes we’d get our channels back, but our rates would go up. Only a little bit at first, but much more serious are the long-term implications. Next time a contract ends with other local channels, they’d see Dish is weak, see how Dish caved for Hearst, and press for higher rates too. Up go our rates would go again.

        By holding the line here, Dish is protecting all of us against ongoing rate increases, not just from Hearst, but from all the local channels.

        If Dish pays Hearst (on any local broadcaster) $.01 per subscriber per month, that’s a win for them. Keep in mind these channels are FREE if you have an antenna. Their main source of money is ad revenue based on the number of viewers they have. Dish is bringing Hearst and other local channel providers more viewers, which increases their ad revenue. If Dish and DirecTV and cable companies paid local channels nothing, it would still be a win for the local channels due to the extra viewers who may be out of good antenna range.

        If you’re going to get angry and blame someone, blame Hearst (or any other local channel trying to squeeze you for more money). Our payment for “free” TV is supposed to be the ads we have to watch, as opposed to cable-only channels. Local TV is a service that advertisers are already paying Hearst and all the local channel owners with an expectation that their payment is buying access to free-to-watch viewers like you and me.

      • Sue Barry // April 15, 2017 at 10:10 am //

        Wow Colin, you and Jerry Kraft really don’t get it. First of all, you’re painting a Utopian view of how it SHOULD be … with local broadcasters being so grateful for extra viewers that they charge nothing and kiss the feet of service providers like Dish, Directv, Comcast, etc. Wouldn’t that be lovely … only that bears no resemblance to the way things ARE at this point in time, and Dish holding out is not going to change that. Do you really think that Hearst and other broadcasters are suddenly going to have an epiphany, see the horrendous error of their ways, repent, beg forgiveness, and give service providers like Dish our local channels back for free? Pretty naïve! Contact your congressmen with that plan and see if they can help change the laws so these things stop happening. That’s the only way broadcasters will go along with the sweet scenario you’re describing – when they HAVE TO, by LAW!

        As far as our monthly rates going up if Dish “holds the line,” do you actually look at your bill every month? Mine went up by $10/month several months before this fight with Hearst ever happened, and then they acted like they were doing me a big favor by rolling it back to $5/mo. It has gone up by at least $5/mo at least once or twice a year for the entire 8 years I’ve been a subscriber, sometimes more, and for no apparent reason except they know they can get away with it because switching is a royal pain in the behind, and they know most people would rather just pay the increase than go through the hassle. Dish also knows that many of their subscribers can’t get diddly squat with an antenna because of where we live. There’s something wrong with Dish management when they are the ones who are constantly getting into these overly long disputes, depriving customers of local channels repeatedly. Research the facts. They have no noble motives on behalf of their customers. It’s all about their profits.

  20. Dish and Hearst are only thinking about themselves. They do not care about their customers. If they did they would settle this mess. We are in the same boat as those who live where internet and cable are needed if you want to watch TV. Our internet is near non-existent. So watching Hulu or Netflix is not always easy. Outside antennas don’t work. As for our bill, since we moved to KY 6 years ago, our bill with dish has gone from $149 to $210!!!! And we have not changed a thing. No premium channels…Nothing. Only thing that changed was a new dvr box because the old one died. So, yes, Dish is just as greedy as Hurst!!

  21. I believe its the FTC we need to complain to for allowing broadcasters to demand extra $ from cable providers. The research I did on this disgusting nightmare basically punishing all loyal paying customers by taking away local channels that used to broadcast for free with analog,but since the whole world was forced to go digital,now its incredibly difficult to get clear picture with any antenna!!! Lame. I have resorted to my old converter box & a damn vcr to view my supposed free ch.7. Its disgusting. I have a $1000.00 Smart TV & I have to watch my free local channel through a converter box & VCR tape which picture quality has now suffered & sound sucks. All because FTC is allowing this to pass. There used to be protection for the providers in place & FTC allows it now. I finally have time to call them tomorrow. Its all due to greed. Broadcasters are being allowed to gouge providers & thus who suffers, “us customers”. I am also disgusted with Hearst Television because I have been forced to stream through their ridiculously unstable ABC AP that continuously breaks & has no HD options! Ruining my $1000.00 Smart TV investment. At least Dish provided a HD crystal clear, & dolby sound picture. Hearst does not provide a clear or stable picture!!!!! I am livid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. I called Hearst broadcasting today & the lady was insanely rude, would not really listen to questions I was asking, she was so focused on putting dish down I couldnt ask any information like why does the streaming suck so bad on the abc app & who do we contact to fix it? She told me to contact dish to fix the abc streaming. Are you kidding me? Stupid!!!! I hate stupid people! So according to that phone call maybe Hearst is to blame for this nightmare I am forced to be in

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