Dish today could lose 28 local network affiliates due to a carriage dispute with their owner and/or manager, Mission Broadcasting.
The broadcaster has posted a notice at its station web sites alerting Dish subscribers that they could lose their signals today. The notice does not give a specific time for when the stations could be pulled if a new carriage pact is not reached.
“Dish subscribers: they’re at it again! This Friday, September 11th, Dish may force (the local station) off your lineup, and important programming you pay for will disappear,” the statement reads.
The post includes a reference to Dish’s frequent battles with programmers which have often led to short-term and long-term channel blackouts. The satcaster recently settled one dispute with Scripps, but has five other blackouts ongoing including ones with HBO, Sinclair’s regional sports channels, the NFL Network, and Apollo Global/Cox Media local stations.
Dish’s Twitter customer service team is criticizing Mission for going public with the fee fight while negotiations are continuing.
“We don’t understand why Mission Broadcasting has chosen to put our customers in the middle of its negotiations. We are still working to reach a fair long-term deal to avoid any service interruption,” @dishanswers tweeted last night.
We don't understand why Mission Broadcasting has chosen to put our customers in the middle of its negotiations. We are still working to reach a fair long-term deal to avoid any service interruption.
— DISH Answers (@dish_answers) September 10, 2020
Dish actually lost the Mission stations last January, but the companies decided to sign a temporary carriage agreement in March due to the Coronavirus shutdown.
Update: Dish on Friday afternoon issued this statement:
“Mission Broadcasting is demanding an unbelievable 50% rate increase on the backs of consumers. Has their content gotten 50% better? Of course not! Yet somehow they expect customers to pay up through threats of taking their stations down.
To make matters worse, Mission is demanding payment for customers who don’t even subscribe to local stations on DISH. Not only would this outrageous demand effectively increase the cost for all customers, it violates the entire notion of consumer choice.
Meanwhile,Mission’s website advertises that they provide their programming for free over the air. Somehow, Mission’s backwards logic is to force all DISH customers in their markets to pay more for the same old content, while they boast about giving away that very content for free. It makes zero sense.“
End of update.
The Mission-owned or managed stations are largely in mid-sized cities such as Little Rock, Arkansas, San Angelo, Texas, Lubbock, Texas, Erie, Pennsylvania, Davenport, Iowa, and Burlington, Vermont. (The list includes stations owned by White Knight Broadcasting, but are managed by Mission.) You can see the entire list of Mission stations that could be removed from Dish here.
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at email@example.com. Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann