Sinclair Broadcasting said today that it’s unlikely it will renew its current carriage agreement with Dish to carry more than 100 local TV stations. The current pact is set to expire Monday, August 16, the company said.
“As a result, all Sinclair broadcast TV stations and Tennis Channel would no longer be carried by DISH Network,” Sinclair said in a press release. “In total, 112 broadcast TV stations are expected to be dropped, including 102 ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC affiliates.”
The blackout would also mean that Dish, and its live streaming service, Sling TV, would not resume carrying the Sinclair-owned 19 Bally Sports regional channels. The two services have been without the regional sports networks since July 2019 due to a separate fee fight.
Dish has yet to issue a statement on Sinclair’s release, but will likely comment later today during an analyst call regarding the company’s second quarter report, which was released this morning.
Sinclair is blaming the satcaster for the impasse, saying it has a long history of carriage disputes.
“DISH Network has a demonstrated track record of dropping local and national programming that viewers value. DISH has recently had carriage disruptions, some of which continue to this day, with the NFL Network, HBO, the Bally Sports Regional Sports Networks, Mid Atlantic Sports Network, Altitude Sports Network, the NBC RSNs, Nexstar Media Group, E.W. Scripps Co., Mission Broadcasting, Cox Media Group, Sunbeam Broadcasting, and Capital Broadcasting. In the past few years, DISH Network has dropped over 230 channels due to carriage disputes,” the Sinclair statement reads.
Sinclair suggests Dish subscribers should consider installing antennas or switching providers to continue watching the company’s local channels if the blackout occurs.
“We apologize to our viewers for the inconvenience this may cause although our programming will continue to be available either through other program providers or via over-the-air antenna reception,” Sinclair general consul David Gibber stated in the release. “We encourage subscribers in these markets to contact DISH Network and let them know that it is important to them that DISH Network carry these stations and that they should switch to another TV provider if they care about their news, local and national sports, and top tier entertainment programming.”
To see a list of the Sinclair channels that could be removed from Dish, click here.
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— Phillip Swann