Dish Loses 14 Apollo-Owned Local Stations In Fee Fight

15 comments

Dish today lost 14 local network affiliates owned by Apollo Global Management in a carriage dispute between the two companies.

The nation’s second largest satellite TV service said in a statement that it offered to continue the previous agreement with higher rates to keep the channels on while negotiations continued. But Dish said Apollo rejected that offer.

“We don’t understand why Apollo is choosing to put customers in the middle of its negotiations, especially during a global pandemic when customers need access to local news and programming,” said Andy LeCuyer, Dish’s senior vice president of programming. “We have offered to apply our current agreement — with higher rates — to keep their channels available and avoid any service interruption while we continue to negotiate, but they refused, demanding a 40-percent increase to rates agreed to last year. We want to come to a long-term agreement that is fair for our customers.”

However, the Apollo stations today posted a notice on their web sites saying Dish is refusing a “fair deal” to carry them.

“(The local station) has been removed from the service of DISH Network after the satellite provider refused to agree to a fair deal for a new retransmission consent agreement with Cox Media Group (the name for the subsidiary that runs the stations for Apollo),” the web notice reads. “If you are currently affected by DISH’s decision to deprive you of important local news and programming during these critical times, make your voice heard! Call DISH today at 1-800-333-3474 and demand that they get your local programming back.”

The friction between the two companies has a recent backstory. Dish and Apollo are engaged in a lawsuit over whether Dish’s previous carriage agreement for the 14 stations was prematurely ended when Apollo bought them from Cox Enterprises last year.

The satcaster obtained a restraining order preventing Apollo from ending the past agreement, but a federal court recently halted the restraining order. That action triggered today’s blackout.

The 14 Apollo stations, which are based in 10 different markets, are:

WSB-TV, Channel 2 (ABC, Atlanta, GA)
WFXT-TV, Channel 25 (FOX, Boston, MA)
WSOC-TV, Channel 9 (ABC, Charlotte, NC)
WAXN-TV, Channel 64 (IND, Charlotte, NC)
WHIO-TV, Channel 7 (CBS, Dayton, OH)

WFOX-TV, Channel 30 (FOX, Jacksonville, FL)
WFOX2-TV, Channel 32 (MNT, Jacksonville, FL)
WHBQ-TV, Channel 13 (FOX, Memphis, TN)
WFTV-TV, Channel 9 (ABC, Orlando, FL)
WRDQ-TV, Channel 27 (IND, Orlando, FL)

WPXI-TV, Channel 11 (NBC, Pittsburgh, PA)
KIRO-TV, Channel 7 (CBS, Seattle, WA)
KOKI-TV, Channel 23 (FOX, Tulsa, OK)
KMYT-TV, Channel 41 (MNT, Tulsa, OK)

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15 comments on “Dish Loses 14 Apollo-Owned Local Stations In Fee Fight”

    1. Shame on you Apollo. I agree that you are vindictive to DISH and greedy beyound belief. I am done with your stations on any media. There is a plethera of other tv out there. You.should be ashamed of yourselves. With all your adcertising fees you still want to stick it to DISH customers. I’m done with you.

  1. GREED, Apollo, GREED! The reason previous customers drop satellite TV services are the unpredictability of channels due to ownership issues, unstable weather interferences, and quality of channels vs. streaming & prices for other options such as Apple TV, Netflix, Hulu, etc… step it up, offer more attractive deals, or more customers will drop satellite services.

  2. This is ridiculous, Apollo is being incredibly greedy. The CBS network in our area has 4 or 5 minute commercials throughout their programs. They have one informational segment then 4 or 5 minutes of commercials or add in the local news break and weather report twice an hour. I recorded CBS This Morning a few months ago and played back the entire 2 hour program in an hour by skipping commercials and the local news/weather breaks. Aren’t they making enough from advertising? Regular programs are maybe 18 minutes of program in a 30 minute slot or 38 to 40 minutes in a 60 minute slot. The morning program is especially irritating. That must be pretty valuable. I’m going to pass on this network until they get their priorities straight. There is plenty of other programming to fill the void and I can pick up anything else I want on All Access, HULU or some other option.

  3. Atlanta, Ga viewer of WSB Channel 2, ABC. This flat sucks. And we lost both channel 2 and WGCL CBS channel 46 last year..2 in one year. 46 was gone 2 plus months.
    Whoever this Apollo is, they are even more greedy than Dish.
    We depend on channel 2 for traffic at 5:00 am, as theirs is the best.
    THE BIG PEOPLE KEEP GETTING BIGGER AND US LITTLE PEOPLE KEEP GETTING TOOK.
    When we had Direct TV for 12 years, I don’t recall this happening. AGAIN, DISH AND APOLLO, THIS OUT AND OUT SUCKS. GET REAL.

  4. So basically Apollo is charging an outrageous fee for channels that are technically free. All of this using customers as pawns to get their way is beyond disgusting and is forcing me to dump my current carrier and not use any satellite or cable carrier. For Apollo to do this now is seriously low. Mr. Swann, your article stated where to reach out to DISH, but DISH customers already have that number. Besides, this time I don’t blame DISH for this current situation. Do you happen to have the contact number for Apollo as well as their social media information? I need that information and that was not in the article. Thanks!

  5. I’m sick if dish network I pay 160 dollars per month and every other day it’s something I give up customer over 15 years it’s TERRIBLE…….

  6. Shame on Apollo. Like one viewer already stated, They are rich beyond belief. Theses stations are free over the air stations. Apollo is trying to stick it to DISH. Can’t believe Apollo’s web site. It isn’t DISH that is refusing the offer, it’s Apollo. Apollo is the one that started the whole issue when they took controlling interest of COX Media Television stations. Why does Apollo need 40% more that the already negotiated fees DISH had with COX Media? That just sounds like GREED!

  7. This whole thing is crap…. Bring back channel 2 to Atlanta … if not we’ll all have to find another source for TV!! There’s to much good stuff on channel 2… and i’m not missing it… Either stuff needs to change real soon, or we all will be finding a different way to watch tv instead of putting up with this crap!!!!! I have 7 TV’s…. I don’t pay a arm and a leg for the dish , just to have the channels leave…. and me miss my favorite shows… HELL NO!!!

  8. It a shame we loose our local channels because of money mabye ask the customer what they want I would pay a little more to have my abc channels back. But it’s not fair you take away channels but we don’t get a discount or able to opt out of your service with out being charged a fee but you can take away channels and not give us any refunds all greedy people not looking out for your customers at all shame on you

  9. CBS # 7 = Seattle. I agree with the majority. APOLLO is at fault. I am standing by DISH who is trying to not have to raise my already high cable bill. There are LOTS of other channels to watch and we are in the Summer of re-runs anyway. The new Fall shows will be behind schedule because Hollywood was not able to produce them, when CA had the “stay home” orders that meant the actors too.

    If I have to loose a “local” station that should be priced reasonably than so be it. I have 2 other local stations I can watch. Like another person said there are to many free options or less expensive (All Access, HULU for example) YEA DISH!! Let APOLLO/ COX Media find out they have out priced them selves in the broadcast arena. They are no longer needed. GREED any time is wrong but during a pandemic well all I can say is KARMA. It will at some point suck to be connected/ condoning APOLLO/ COX Media’s actions

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