Q. I’m happy for the DIRECTV customers that they settled their channel fight yesterday. But I am a Dish subscriber and I have been without my KTLA for weeks now. Why can’t Dish settle their differences like DIRECTV did? Are they just being stubborn or what? — Sheila, Carson, California.
Sheila, as you note, AT&T yesterday settled its 19-day fee fight with Tegna which returned the broadcaster’s 64 local TV channels to the lineups of DIRECTV and three other AT&T-owned TV services. The resolution has irked some Dish subscribers who wonder why its TV provider can’t settle its carriage dispute with 164 local TV stations (including KTLA-TV) owned by Nexstar, which began on December 2. (Dish also has eight other ongoing carriage battles.)
Update: Dish & Nexstar sign deal; end blackout.
“How is it that @DIRECTV can have a dispute with local San Diego @CBS8 and get it resolved in a reasonable amount of time, but @dish can’t get a deal with local @fox5sandiego and for that matter can’t get any of their disputes resolved?!! #dishsucks!” ‘steviet’ tweeted yesterday.
“Hey @dish @DIRECTV got their squat together and put local stations back on. Figure it out with @KTLA,” added ‘John Tyler.’
The frustration is growing, and understandable. DIRECTV and Dish engaged in carriage disputes on almost the same day, but one somehow found a resolution while the other can not. The fact that Dish has eight other fee fights just compounds the ill feelings.
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The obvious reaction would be that Dish is not interested in resolutions, at least not short-term ones. That is a bit simplistic, but there is some truth to it. Dish clearly has a strategy of dragging out these fights in the hope that the other side will ultimately lessen their demands. If that means their subscribers will be inconvenienced, so be it. Dish believes it’s worth it because it will enable it to keep prices lower than its rivals, which is the best subscriber benefit of all.
The satcaster also saves money during a fee fight because it does not have to pay the programmers while it’s not carrying their channels. That also helps Dish keep prices down.
Some Dish subscribers might point to the satcaster’s plan to raise prices in January by $5 a month on most packages. But even with that increase, Dish’s prices will still be lower than DIRECTV, and most, if not all, cable TV providers.
So if you subscribe to Dish, and you like the lower prices, there’s a reason for them. You may not like that reason, but it is what it is.
Sheila, hope that makes sense. Happy viewing, and stay safe!
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I just cancelled Dish. It felt good. I had 5 months left on my contract but it was the biggest mistake trying to save a few bucks then losing my RSN’s 4 months into my contract, then losing NFL network for months, then local ABC for weeks and now losing local FOX was my final straw. Bye Bye Dish, Forever!
Amen Wayne! Just cancelled mine as well with 11 months remaining on my contract. I also wanted my RSNs and my local CBS. Back to DirecTV and will swallow their astronomical rates but at least I can watch my Atlanta Braves and my local news!
Exactly! I guess you truly get what you pay for in life! Looks like we both can now watch our teams.. Braves and Indians (well until they change their name next yr).
I’m trying to understand why Dish doesn’t carry HBO? If the subscription cost is passed on to the customer, it should be profitable for both companies and not cost Dish anything. Am I missing something?