Dish announced last night that it has reached a new carriage pact with Waterman Broadcasting, returning two local NBC affiliates to its lineup in time for Sunday’s Super Bowl.
The two channels are: WVIR-TV, the NBC affiliate in Charlottesville, Virginia, and WBBH-TV, the NBC affiliate serving the Fort Myers/Naples, Florida area.
The stations were blacked out on Dish since Wednesday night when the companies could not agree on a new carriage pact. The companies were battling over how much Dish should pay to carry Waterman’s signals.
In a terse statement, Dish did not reveal the terms of the new pact.
“Dish has reached a multi-year agreement with Waterman Broadcasting for carriage of WVIR-TV and WBBH-TV…The channels have been restored to Dish customers,” the statement read.
Waterman last night also posted a notice at its station web sites saying a new agreement was in place.
“Tonight, following two days of being off the air on DISH..,.NBC29, CW29, and DISH signed a new carriage agreement. DISH announced the stations would be returned to the air immediately,” said WVIR-TV. “NBC29 General Manager Harold Wright said he was pleased all parties could reach agreement in time for DISH subscribers to watch the Virginia – Syracuse men’s basketball game on Saturday afternoon, and the Super Bowl on Sunday afternoon.”
NBC is broadcasting Sunday’s Super Bowl. If Dish and Waterman did not reach a deal by then, Dish subscribers in the two markets would have been unable to watch the game via their satellite systems.
They could still have watched it using an antenna, or the NBCSports.com web site or NBC app which will stream the game for free.
Dish has also been without four local channels owned by Lockwood Broadcasting since January 23 due to a separate fee fight.
The Lockwood stations are: KAKE-TV, the ABC affiliate in Wichita, Kansas; WHDF-TV, the CW affiliate in Florence, Alabama; WCWG-TV, the CW station in Lexington, North Carolina; and KTEN-TV, the NBC affiliate in Ada, Oklahoma (the station also offers feeds of ABC and the CW in the Ada area).
— Phillip Swann