Well, you can’t say they’re not trying.
Dish and Cox Media last night signed their third temporary carriage pact this month, allowing 18 local stations to continue in the satcaster’s lineup. For now, at least. (The 18 stations are owned by Apollo Global Management, an equity firm, but they are managed by Cox Media.)
The new deal calls for the deadline for a permanent agreement to be extended until October 20 at 7 p.m. ET. On October 1, the date of the original deadline, the two companies signed a seven-day temporary agreement. Then on October 8, they moved the deadline seven days again to October 15.
As of this morning, some of the 18 stations still had a notice on their web sites saying the deadline was October 15. But it was changed early this afternoon to October 20.
“ATTENTION DISH CUSTOMERS: After 7PM EST October 20th, you may not be able to watch your favorite shows live,” reads the message at KIEM-TV, a NBC affiliate in Eureka, California. “NBC 3 and Redwood CBS are committed to continue our negotiations with DISH to keep your shows on, but DON’T WAIT: Call DISH at 800-333-3474 and tell them you want NBC 3 and Redwood CBS to remain on the air.”
The dispute should not be confused with a different carriage battle between Dish and Cox Media, and Apollo Global Management. Nearly three months ago, Dish lost 14 local network affiliates owned by Apollo, and managed by Cox, over fees. This new dispute covers the 18 stations previously owned by Northwest Broadcasting, which were sold to Apollo last year.
Their contracts are expiring now because Dish has been operating on the agreement it previously held with Northwest. The 14 stations it lost two months ago were operating on a contract Dish had negotiated with Cox Media before it was so sold to Apollo.
However, the fact that Dish and Cox Media are talking — apparently frequently — about the former Northwest stations could bode well for a resolution of the 14 Cox/Apollo stations.
The 18 stations that Dish could lose on October 20 are:
Idaho Falls-Pocatello, Idaho
Medford-Klamath Falls, Oreg.
Yuma, Ariz. – El Centro, Calif.
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— Phillip Swann