Television Carriage Disputes Come to Head

Nov 30, 2006  •  Post A Comment

One television carriage dispute down, one to go.

A stand-off between Pappas Telecasting Companies and DISH Network has ended with a five-year deal to have the satellite-TV company carry local stations’ signals, while Sinclair Broadcast Group said it expects cable operator Mediacom Communications to pull more than 10 stations’ signals at midnight.

The Pappas agreement keeps the signals of nine of the company’s TV stations in local packages on DISH. In addition, the satellite carrier, which has nearly 2 million subscribers, will add two more Pappas stations, CW affiliate KCWL-TV in Lincoln Neb., and Azteca America affiliate KAZR-TV in Reno, Nev. Moreover, KUNO-TV, a sister station to KTNC-TV in the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose and Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto markets will be added to DISH’s local channel lineup when it begins separate programming.

“We have reached an agreement that contains all of the economic terms that we had been seeking,” Harry J. Pappas, Chairman and CEO of Pappas Telecasting Companies, said in a statement Thursday. “The support of our viewers made the difference in the last 24 hours.”

Meanwhile, Sinclair Broadcast Group said Wednesday afternoon that its retransmission talks with Mediacom Communications are not going well and Sinclair expects the cable company to pull the stations’ signals at midnight tonight.

Sinclair also is urging its audiences to register their feelings with Mediacom and said it is extending its offer to pay $100 to $150 rebates to viewers who subscribe to DirecTV through Dec. 31.