TV Answer Man, I saw your article on Dish settling its fight with the Hearst local stations. Could that mean that Dish will settle its blackout with our ABC station here? — June, Atlanta.
How Many Blackouts Does Dish Have?
June, Dish announced last week that it has signed a new multi-year carriage agreement with Hearst Television, returning 37 Hearst-owned local channels to its satellite lineup after a two-month blackout. But the satcaster has been without 13 Cox Media stations since November 2022 and 28 Mission Broadcasting and White Knight stations since January of this year in separate battles. Could the end of the Hearst carriage fight mean that Dish will soon settle the three other outstanding disputes?
Could the Hearst Deal End Other Blackouts?
I wish I could say yes, but the answer is no. Each carriage dispute is different with different owners of the local station groups. That means that what Hearst did with Dish has no influence on what Cox Media, Mission or White Knight might do.
In addition, the disputes between Dish and those three broadcasters have transpired for much longer, a sign that the gap between the TV provider and the broadcasters is much greater. Hearst and Dish settled after two months, almost the same amount of time the two companies settled their last fee fight. But when a carriage dispute lasts a full year (Cox Media) or 11 months (Mission and White Knight), there’s a chance it will never be settled.
June, The TV Answer Man will continue to monitor this situation and report back here if anything changes. Until then, happy viewing and stay safe!
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The TV Answer Man is veteran journalist Phillip Swann who has covered the TV technology scene for more than three decades. He will report on the latest news and answer your questions regarding new devices and services that are changing the way you watch television. See the bio for Phillip Swann here.