Dish last Friday lost the NBC and CW affiliates in Columbia, Missouri due to a carriage dispute with their owner, the University of Missouri.
The two channels operate as KOMU-TV or KOMU 8 although they offer different signals for NBC and the CW. In a notice posted on Friday at their web site, they said Dish is refusing to pay a fair market value to carry them.
“KOMU 8 and Dish Network came to a temporary agreement to carry our NBC and CW streams in March of 2020, which expired on March 12, 2021. We offered to continue distribution on fair market terms and Dish declined,” the notice states. “KOMU 8, a locally-owned, small-market TV station only requests that Dish Network…agrees to a fair agreement in line with what we agreed to with other providers. At no time have we demanded exorbitant fees. KOMU 8 remains committed to reaching a fair agreement.”
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Dish has posted a statement on its web page, Dish Promise, which chides the university for removing the signals while Coronavirus pandemic continues.
“KOMU has chosen to remove their channels during these unprecedented times,” the statement reads. “Last March, we were in a dispute with KOMU but we were able to work together to reach a temporary agreement. This allowed us to restore their channels so you could stay informed. Now that this temporary agreement has expired, KOMU has chosen to remove their channels again instead of continuing to work with us to reach a fair deal. Unfortunately, they are continuing to demand a rate increase that is simply unacceptable.”
Dish contends that KOMU has rejected its offer to extend the current contract while negotiations continue.
The satellite TV service has been involved in numerous carriage battles over the last several years, and at one point last year, was missing approximately 240 channels to fee fights. But Dish has had more success lately resolving these fights, and is now missing around 35 channels.
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What’s to stop the stations from putting their programming on a stream and bypassing Dish?
Because only those interested in local and/or national broadcast programing would buy it, while if they can get it on the pay tv basic tier, they can force EVERY SUBSCRIBER to pay for it.