Stations May Go Dark Tonight in 45 Markets in Retransmission Dispute Deadline
In the wake of a series of disputes over retransmission fees that have produced blackouts on Dish Network, the satellite provider is headed for another showdown in another dispute, Deadline.com reports.
An impending blackout tonight involving Sinclair stations could affect Dish subscribers in 45 markets, the story reports. The wide-ranging blackout could affect 20 Fox affiliates, 18 MyTV stations, 11 ABC affils, 14 CW stations, nine CBS affiliates, one NBC station and one Azteca station.
Said Dish Senior VP Dave Shull: “We carry more than 1,800 local broadcast stations nationwide. Sinclair is asking for more than any other station anywhere in the country. This goes beyond pure corporate greed -- it’s profoundly insensitive to the needs of the public.”
The report notes: “Sinclair says that although it is still negotiating with Dish, there’s ‘significant doubt’ as to whether they can reach an agreement. Dish accounts for about 3.6M of the 27.2M homes that Sinclair reaches, according to SNL Kagan data.”
While one of Dish’s most recent spats with a broadcaster involved tiny Hoak Media, the report notes that all major broadcasters are up in arms about Dish’s Hopper DVR, which enables automatic skipping of commercials on programming recorded from network affiliates.
Another recent Dish confrontation led to the service’s dropping all AMC Networks cable channels.
The report adds: “Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen has vigorously attacked broadcasters’ retransmission demands, calling them a ‘government-sponsored monopoly.’”