Dish tonight could lose 12 local channels in seven markets due to a programming dispute with their owner, Morgan Murphy Media.
Update, Tuesday, January 25, 5:14 a.m. – The two sides apparently are still in negotiations with the channels still available in Dish’s lineup. Dish’s web site, DishPromise.com, includes this message: “We are still working to reach a fair long-term deal to avoid any service interruption.” The TV Answer Man will update this story when we receive more information.
Update, Thursday, January 27: The stations now say the temporary agreement will end on Friday at 7 pm ET.
The stations over the weekend posted a viewer alert advising Dish subscribers that they could lose their signals if a new agreement is not signed by 7 p.m. ET tonight.
“The WISC-TV carriage agreement with DISH expires at (7 p.m. ET) Monday, January 24. While we wish to avoid a disruption in your DISH service, without an agreement or extension, DISH could choose to remove our programming from its lineup,” states the notice posted by WISC-TV, the CBS affiliate in Madison, Wisconsin.
The seven markets affected by the dispute are Joplin, Missouri, Spokane, Washington, Yakima, Washington, Kennewick, Washington, Victoria, Texas, LaCrosse, Wisconsin, and Madison, Wisconsin.
Dish has yet to issue a statement in response to the Morgan Murphy Media posting. But the satcaster may be a bit busy trying to settle at least a dozen other carriage disputes that have left more than 100 channels missing in its lineup, including 64 Tegna-owned locals.
The Dish-Morgan Murphy fight has been brewing for several months. Morgan Murphy threatened to remove its signals from Dish last October, but the two companies signed a short-term agreement to allow negotiations to continue.
Update Monday: Dish’s Twitter customer service team posted this today:
“We don’t understand why Morgan Murphy Media has chosen to put our customers in the middle of its negotiations. We are still working to reach a fair long term deal to avoid any service interruption.”
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— Phillip Swann