A retransmission dispute left holes in the station lineup for Dish Network subscribers in 33 markets Sunday night, as Tribune Media took 42 stations off Dish systems across the U.S.
“Dish said its customers lost access to 42 local channels in 33 markets across 34 states and the District of Columbia. Its viewers also lost access to cable channel WGN America,” Reuters reports. Dish was reportedly offering free “over-the-air” antennas to customers in the affected markets to enable subscribers to watch Tribune’s broadcast channels.
Warren Schlichting, Dish executive vice president of programing, commented: “Tribune is demanding an unreasonable rate increase for channels that are available for free over the air.”
Tribune countered that Dish had refused to reach terms based on “fair-market value” that the satellite provider already pays other local station groups.
Said Gary Weitman, Tribune Media senior VP for corporate relations: “We’re willing to accept the same rates for our local stations and WGN America that others are currently paying us.”