Dish tonight has lost 28 local TV stations in 28 markets due to carriage disputes with Mission Broadcasting and White Knight Broadcasting, both of which are managed by Nexstar. The stations include network affiliates for CBS, ABC, Fox and NBC.
The 25 Mission-owned stations are in 26 markets including New York. Providence, Rhode Island, Little Rock, Albuquerque, Abilene, Texas, Albany, New York and Erie, Pennsylvania, among others. You can see a complete list here.
The three White Knight-owned stations are in two markets: Tyler, Texas and Lafayette, Louisiana.
“Both programming groups rejected DISH’s contract extension offers to keep programming available for customers while we continue to negotiate,” Brian Neylon, Dish’s group president, said in a statement. “We’re disappointed Mission and White Knight have chosen this course of action. The demanded fees are unreasonable given that Mission and White Knight’s viewership on DISH have significantly declined over the past three years, indicating that many viewers have moved to other channels for programming they prefer.”
Mission and White Knight (or Nexstar) have not issued comments on the dispute as of this writing. The TV Answer Man will update this story if we get a statement from either group.
DIRECTV, Dish’s satellite rival, has been without the Mission and White Knight stations since October in a separate carriage fight. Like DIRECTV, Dish tonight is pointing the finger at blame at Nexstar as well as the two broadcasting groups.
“Mission and White Knight’s actions are not unexpected. In the past year, the Nexstar-controlled programmers removed channels from Comcast, DIRECTV, AT&T U-verse and Verizon FiOS. Mission is currently in a long-term dispute with DirecTV. It pulled its channels from DirecTV customers in mid-October, forcing more than a million customers to look elsewhere to watch their favorite programming,” Dish says in its press release.
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— Phillip Swann