Dish subscribers in 21 markets are set to miss both this month’s Winter Olympics and Super Bowl due to the satcaster’s carriage disputes with owners of NBC network affiliates. NBC has the exclusive U.S. broadcast rights to both the 2022 Winter Olympics (which start Thursday) and the 2022 Super Bowl on February 13.
The satellite service is missing more than 100 channels due to fee fights dating back more than two years and the list includes 64 Tegna-owned local affiliates. The Tegna stations include 20 local NBC affiliates:
KPNX-TV in Phoenix, KUSA-TV in Denver, WTLV-TV in Jacksonville, WXIA-TV in Atlanta, KTVB-TV in Boise, Idaho, WTHR-TV in Indianapolis, WCSH in Portland, Maine, KARE-TV in Minneapolis, KSDK-TV in St. Louis, WGRZ-TV in Buffalo, WKYC-TV in Cleveland, WLBW-TV in Bangor, Maine, KGW-TV in Portland, Oregon, KTFT-TV in Twin Falls, Idaho, WBIR-TV in Knoxville, Tennessee, KBMT-TV in Beaumont, Texas, KWES-TV in Odessa/Midland, Texas, WCNC-TV in Charlotte, North Carolina, KCEN-TV in Waco, Texas and KING-TV in Seattle.
In addition, Dish is missing KOMU-TV, the NBC affiliate in Columbia, Missouri, in a separate dispute with its owner, the University of Missouri.
Dish could settle one or both disputes before the Olympics and Super Bowl, but that seems unlikely. The satellite service’s fight with Tegna is now almost four months old and two sides have filed counter claims of ‘bad faith’ negotiating against each other at the Federal Communications Commission.
The Dish-KOMU blackout dates back to last March.
However, major events such as the Super Bowl have sometimes triggered settlements between pay TV providers and station owners. Anxious that they will miss the big game, viewers will put more pressure on their providers and local stations to end the fight. This in turn often prompts local politicians to get involved by calling for the two sides to settle.
If the disputes do not end, Dish subscribers in the 21 markets could watch the Winter Olympics and Super Bowl on Peacock, the NBC-owned streaming service. However, that will require a subscription to Peacock which starts at $4.99 a month.
NBC will broadcast the game for free via TV antennas.
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— Phillip Swann