Excuse me if you’ve heard this one before.
Cox Media and Dish have agreed to their fifth temporary carriage pact this month, allowing 18 local stations to continue in the satcaster’s lineup. (The 18 stations are owned by Apollo Global Management, an equity firm, but they are managed by Cox Media.)
The new agreement calls for the deadline for a long-term carriage agreement to be extended until November 5 at 7 p.m. ET.
Dish has had an interesting history when it comes to carriage battles, but this one might rewrite the books. On October 1, the date of the original deadline, the satcaster and Cox signed a seven-day temporary agreement. Then on October 8, they moved the deadline seven days again to October 15. On the 15th, it was moved to October 20. Then on the 20th, it was pushed to October 29.
And last night, it was moved. Once again.
“ATTENTION DISH CUSTOMERS: After 7PM EST November 5, you may not be able to watch your favorite shows live. 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,” stated a notice posted by KIEM-TV, a NBC affiliate in Eureka, California, one of 18 stations involved.
The dispute should not be confused with a different carriage battle between Dish and Cox Media, and Apollo Global Management. 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 three months ago were operating on a contract Dish had negotiated with Cox Media before it was so sold to Apollo.
However, the apparent willingness of the two sides to keep talking — and keep talking — could bode well for a solution to the blackout of the 14 stations as well.
The 18 stations that Dish could now lose on November 5 (unless there is another temporary agreement) are:
Idaho Falls-Pocatello, Idaho
Medford-Klamath Falls, Oreg.
Yuma, Ariz. – El Centro, Calif.
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— Phillip Swann