Dish tonight lost 28 local network affiliates due to a carriage dispute with their owner and/or manager, Mission Broadcasting.
“Mission proudly claims on its website that its stations ‘provide free over-the-air programming,’ but clearly their actions could not run more counter to that claim,” Brian Neylon, Dish’s president said in a statement. “Not only is Mission trying to force DISH customers to pay an outrageous 50% price increase for the same old content, they are also demanding payment from customers who don’t even subscribe to local channels. It makes no sense.”
Mission tonight posted a notice at its station web sites alerting Dish subscribers that their signals had been removed.
“Dish subscribers: They’ve done it again! (Local station) has been forced off your lineup, and important programming you pay for has disappeared,” the statement reads.
The comment was 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 actually lost the Mission stations last January, but the companies decided to sign a temporary carriage agreement in March due to the Coronavirus shutdown.
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.
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— Phillip Swann