By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman

TV Answer Man, you keep writing about DIRECTV’s fight with Nexstar but what about the Dish viewers who have been without our channels for months and months? Have you forgotten us? — Ben, Eugene, Oregon.

Ben, you’re right. Dish last November lost 13 Cox Media-owned local network affiliates in nine markets due to a carriage dispute between the companies. And in January of this year, Dish 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.

While the loss of 41 local stations is not the same as DIRECTV’s loss of 159 stations in its Nexstar dispute, the Dish blackout is significantly longer with the Cox Media fight now eight months old and the Mission/White Knight blackout almost seven months old. Even worse, there’s no indication that a settlement is imminent with either dispute. When a Dish subscriber in a Cox Media market complained on social media last month, the satcaster’s Twitter customer service team offered this response:

“Cox Media Group is an important partner for us, and we continue to have active conversations with them. Our top priority is to reach a fair agreement with Cox Media Group to bring your local channel back as quickly as possible.”

That was a month ago.

And this is what the Dish team said last month about the Mission blackout:

“We are sorry that Mission Broadcasting has chosen to block your local channel. Our top priority is to reach a fair agreement with Mission Broadcasting to bring your local channel back as quickly as possible.”

When a channel dispute lasts this long, it’s hard to be optimistic that it will ever end. But the TV Answer Man will continue to monitor these fee fights and report back here if anything significant changes.

Until then, happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann