The carriage dispute between Dish and Cox Media is already looking like it could be a protracted one with the broadcaster this morning sending a cease-and-desist letter to the satcaster, claiming it’s making ‘false claims’ about its demands and its stations.
Dish lost 12 Cox Media-owned local stations on Monday night after the two sides failed to reach a new carriage agreement. Cox’s letter today says Dish falsely claimed in a press release on Monday night that it refused to allow it to continue offering the stations while negotiations continued.
“That fact is, we asked Dish for an extension of our prior contract both in writing and verbally on several different occasions,” Cox Media CEO Daniel York stated in a press release. “CMG is now publicly asking Dish yet again to put our market-leading stations back on their satellite platform under the agreement that we both have operated under for years, and we’re again inviting them to finally start engaging in a meaningful good-faith negotiation of a new contract.”
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The TV Answer Man this morning asked Dish for a comment but has yet to receive a response.
On Friday morning, Dish issued this response to Cox Media’s letter:
“Cox Media Group’s statements regarding its negotiations with DISH Network and requests for contract extensions are misleading at best. During the negotiation process, Cox and its majority owner (large private equity firm Apollo Global Management) have attempted to pressure DISH to include Standard Media and Tegna stations – stations Cox does not own – in the Cox agreement. Cox has had multiple occasions to agree to extensions for their own stations and has refused.
The Dish statement continued: “Cox has failed to mention it opted not to exercise its unilateral right to extend its contract. Still, DISH subsequently made additional extension offers to Cox. These offers simply requested Cox sign a letter affirming it would not interfere with the multi-year contract DISH signed with Tegna this past February. To date, Cox has refused these offers.
“In addition to attempting to negotiate for stations it does not own, Cox and Apollo were demanding a massive fee increase of nearly 75 percent. The demanded fee is unreasonable given that Cox’s viewership on DISH TV has significantly declined over the past three years, indicating that many viewers have moved to other channels and services for programming they prefer. DISH is disappointed that Cox continues to turn its back on its public interest obligations and refuses to engage in good faith retransmission consent negotiations with DISH. Despite Cox’s practices, DISH remains open to reaching an agreement for Cox stations that is fair to our customers.”
Dish is referring in its response to Cox Media’s plan to acquire five stations from Tegna; the deal is under federal review.
Original story continues:
The Cox Media letter also says Dish’s statements were “designed to mislead viewers and thereby harm the reputation of CMG in the marketplace.” The broadcaster says Dish “never asked for an extension to continue carrying CMG’s stations and (it is Dish) who unilaterally pulled the plug despite CMG expressly authorizing DISH to continue carrying the channels under the prior contract.”
“DISH has also made a cynical and false claim that CMG under-invests in local journalism, a statement the company takes very seriously given its strong record of investments in local news, investigative journalism, programming and in serving its communities in innumerable other ways,” the press release states.
On Monday night, Dish alleged that Cox Media is seeking payment for Dish subscribers who do not get local channels through the satellite TV service. (Dish offers plans that do not include local channels.)
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“Cox’s refusal to negotiate in good faith and subsequently forcing a blackout of its stations for DISH customers is deplorable,” Brian Neylon, Dish’s group president, said in a statement. “Cox is demanding an exorbitant rate increase, negotiating for channels it does not yet own and insists on payment from customers who do not subscribe to local broadcasting, even as it continues to underinvest in local programming. Broadcasters like Cox put profits ahead of the public interests they are supposed to serve, even when its viewership has declined for years.”
Dish says the network affiliates that have been blacked out on include:
(ABC: WSB) – Atlanta, GA
(FOX: WFXT) – Boston, MA
(ABC: WSOC) – Charlotte, NC
(CBS: WHIO) – Dayton, OH
(FOX: KLSR) – Eugene, OR
(FOX: WFOX) – Jacksonville, FL
(ABC: WFTV) – Orlando, FL
(NBC: WPXI) – Pittsburgh, PA
(CBS: KIRO) – Seattle, WA
Cox Media also has three independent stations as part of the blackout.
Cox Media and Dish engaged in a several month-long dispute in 2020 before settling in December 2020.
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— Phillip Swann
as a former chief tech for a major cable co. the question i have is is it worth it to the local stations to cut service to people they normally wouldn’t reach with out dish or direct or cable tv? you already are losing advertising dollars to business who advertise on your median.it would appear to me you are doing them a diservice by this. on the money you make is it worth the difference to cause ill feelings. i know you put the blame on the others. but as you already know the blame is on you and the fcc. dish,directv,and cable supply thier own equipment to get your channels to people you wouldnt reach with out them.it appears to me you should be paying them.
Feel Apollo Global Management and Cox Media Group been using Duane Lammers Max Retrans as the reason why DISH Network is not able to carry the Cox TV stations. If Apollo Global Management and Cox Media Group has no intention of letting allowing DISH Network to carry the Cox TV stations ever again, recommend Apollo Global Management and Cox Media Group be better offing selling the TV stations right now if Apollo Global Management and Cox Media Group has no intention of letting allowing DISH Network to carry the Cox TV stations ever again because Apollo Global Management and Cox Media Group would rather keep continuing on using Duane Lammers Max Retrans to assist Apollo Global Management and Cox Media Group for their retransmission consent negotiating needs. Apollo Global Management and Cox Media Group be better selling all of the TV stations right now to someone else that who would be willing to permanently fire cut ties and or never ever agreed to use Duane Lammers Max Retrans, ATV Broadcast, and or Symphony Media Audit International to assist broadcasters and broadcasting group for their retransmission consent negotiating needs.
The broadcasters and broadcasting groups like to see take over certain Cox TV stations from Apollo Global Management and Cox Media Group:
ABC/Disney: WSB, WFTV/WRDQ, WSOC/WXAN
NBC/Comcast WPXI, WFXT(to use it for NBC Boston)(FOX affiliation moves to WHDH if ED Ansin-Sunbeam Television ever allow DISH Network to carry WSVN and WHDH/WLVI ever again and be willing to permanently fire, cut ties, and or never ever agree to ever use Duane Lammers Max Retrans as a consultant to assist ED Ansin-Sunbeam Television for their retransmission consent negotiating needs as the reason why DISH Network no longer able to carry WSVN and WHDH/WLVI)
Gray Television: WFOX/WJAX, WHIO, KLSR/KEVU-CD
The broadcasters and broadcasting groups like to see take over certain Cox TV stations from Apollo Global Management and Cox Media only if they are willing to meet stiff serious concessions such as be willing to permanently fire cut ties and or never ever agreed to use Duane Lammers Max Retrans, ATV Broadcast, and or Symphony Media Audit International to assist broadcasters and broadcasting group for their retransmission consent negotiating needs as a very stiff serious pre-condition to allowing the broadcasters and broadcasting groups like to see take over certain Cox TV stations from Apollo Global Management and Cox Media.
Who would want to buy local stations these days? Also, with the satellite penetration plummeting, doubt the loss of a few Dish customers will really affect ratings.
My suggestion to broadcasters, follow the cable net model and give the Sat/Cable two minutes an hour to sell.
Please bring back our local nbc.channel. enough is enough. PLEASE
Dish, you need to step up and refund local customers for not broadcasting our local channels. You take our money and do not deliver what you promised. You will lose more customer that it’s worth.