Dish Drops Young Broadcasting Content in Retrans Dispute

Dec 11, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Dish Network and Young Broadcasting failed to renew their retransmission agreement, meaning programming on Young’s TV stations in 11 markets is no longer available to Dish subscribers, the satellite company said.
Young is “demanding unreasonable contract terms and an excessive rate increase,” Dish said in a statement. “To protect customers from unreasonable rate increases and to ensure they pay only a fair amount each month, Dish Network draws the line at such excess and challenges strong-arm tactics.”
With local advertising revenues drying up, television stations have become increasingly aggressive in trying to wring larger cash payments from cable operators and satellite TV providers in return for carriage of their signals.
Dish’s contract with Young expired Dec. 10. Young has stations in Lansing, Mich.; Lafayette, La.; Albany, N.Y.; Nashville, Tenn.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Green Bay, Wis.; Richmond, Va.; Davenport, Iowa; San Francisco; and Sioux Falls and Rapid City, S.D.
On the Web site of its Albany station, Young said it had made some progress in negotiations and had extended its contract with Dish until 7 p.m. ET.
“We will continue to make every reasonable effort to reach an agreement,” the site said.
Young said it was seeking about a penny per day per subscriber for its Albany station.
“Dish Network charges you a fee for WTEN-TV. We believe Dish Network should be willing to pay a small, but fair, portion of the fees you pay to Dish Network for the program content we provide to you,” Young said.


  1. It looks like Young is trying to find a pot of gold to keep its business a float. They’ve been in Chapter 11 before and they’ve been delisted on the markets. So sounds likes it’s a business about to TANK. So I don’t blame DISH at all; besides, who needs them. One can probably get a distant network from DISH anyway to make up for the lost signal. GO DISH!!!!

  2. I agree that Young broadcasting is trying to keep afloat in this bad economy. However, the only ones being hurt here are the customers. Because of their dispute, I can no longer sit down and enjoy my favorite shows. This is unfair to me, and every other customer of Dish and Young Broadcasting.
    I wish Dish would bring us a distant network so that I may enjoy my ABC programming. I feel that if they did that, Dish would make it’s customers happy, and Young Broadcasting would realize that it has no leg to stand on and work harder to come to some sort of agreement. After all, a little bit of money is better than no money at all!

  3. I agree that Dish should bring us a distant network so that we the customers aren’t punished while this dispute goes on. Naturally Dish and Young’s Broadcasting will blame each other but the bottom line is the customer is the one on the losing end no matter whose fault it is.
    Both parties should think of the customer first and do whatever is necessary to take care of them.

  4. Yes, it’s the viewers that suffer. Both Dish and Young are guilty of being greedy. I didn’t like it that Dish dropped the Big Ten Network from the package we had and forced us to upgrade to a more expensive package to continue seeing the BTN. Now we are paying Dish to see the local channels, one that has at least temporairily been taken off.
    What a shame for everyone. I’m sure we will get no refund from Dish for this loss.

  5. It is amazing to me that Young does not come to us commercial free and they are getting big bucks by airing commercials spots that we are forced to watch. So now they can go tell their clients that there will be fewer people watching their commercials. If the audience size whom these commericals are airing to substantially diminishes, I would think they would pull out their ads and place them on a station that gets more viewers via Dish Network. I think Young is not only being greedy but also being a bit stupid. If they lose these commercial spots to other stations, they will not only lose a penny per customer from Dish Network, as they claim, but will lose a lot more $$. Dish network is very big and growing and holds a huge audience. Young best work with them and be a bit less greedy as they have a lot more to lose than just Dish network customers.

  6. Sherri…it’s easy to say that Young is being greedy, but that’s simply not true.
    Every broadcast station in America has substantial costs associated with bringing their viewers locals newscasts, productions, and syndicated programming. Without partnering with advertisers and accepting rights fees for services, broadcast stations couldn’t bring you any of the programming you want to watch.
    Dish Network (which is not growing, but shrinking in subscribers…Net loss of 10,000 subscribers nationally in Q3 2008, while DirecTV increased subscribers by 156,000, and incidentally does carry Young stations with an agreement renewed very recently) charges local customers $5.99 to see those local “free” channels packaged with other channels the satellite and cable companies want you to buy from them.
    The broadcast stations have every right to ask those companies for a proportional per subscriber rights fee, just as the cable networks like ESPN, TBS, Fox Sports do.
    If there’s anyone to be mad at, it would be the middleman who’s marking up and selling a product for significantly more than he paid for it. In this case, that would be Dish Network.

  7. Michael is absolutely correct. Cable and satellite were built on the backs of local stations yet until recently never received a penny. Even today, broadcast stations make up a large portion of a cable or satellite system’s viewership (much larger than ESPN, for example). Yet ESPN gets two dollars or more per sub and broadcasters, at best, get about 25 cents. These systems are charging their subscribers for the broadcast signals – they need to turn over some of those fees to the stations.

  8. I don’t understand why the other local stations don’t seem to have a problem with Dish Network such as NBC and CBS to name a couple.
    Dish Network has over 13.7 million viewers, and has surpassed major cable providers for the past eight consecutive years. They are very popular and offer great packages.
    This really affects the viewers, and they are the real victims here. If CBS and NBC are working with DISH then why is Young having such a problem?
    It seems that Young doesn’t really care about its viewers because if they did, they would not make such a case about what amounts to only a penny per customer.

  9. I don’t have a problem with my local station (WATE TV Knoxville) getting a fair $$ from DISH.. but it seems they must be asking for “too much”.. All other Knoxville stations are still on DISH.. they apparently are satisfied with the deal.
    If DISH would just offer me another ABC affiliate.. I wouldn’t miss WATE TV.. The only thing they offer, that I wouldn’t get on another ABC station,.. is local news.. and their local news coverage is surpassed, by far.. by the other local TV news teams (WBIR and WVLT). Both those are still on DISH.
    However.. on the other side of the coin.. if DISH doesn’t do something soon to get ABC network programs back into my home,.. soon, I’ll switch to DIRECT TV. Customers must look out for themselves.. no one else will.

  10. I agree with Chuck. I think Dish should give us another ABC affiliate just for the ABC network stuff. That’s about I watch on it anyway. The other locals are just fine with me. Again this is one channel. You can get some cheap rabbit ears to get WATE anyway. I think it would be fun to watch another city’s local anyway. More perspective. I’ll drop Dish a line.

  11. Just talked with Dish and they said that due to FCC regulation the could not do switch to another ABC affiliate. Just thought I would try.

  12. I sent Dish a message saying I wasn’t willing to pay a cent more for our ABC affiliate WKRN, infact, I don’t think I’ve watched anything on Channel 2 in several years.
    ABC needs to step up its quality of programming. The only shows I know for sure on ABC are Dancing with the Stars and the Jimmy Kimmel show. I’m not a Dancing Fan, and I’m more of a Letterman fan than a Kimmel Fan.
    There are rumors that Young is facing bankruptcy, they should be glad to get whatever money they can get, all of our other local stations are onboard with DISH.

  13. Dish should just buy Young Broadcasting.
    Young wants to be bailed out for their own mis-managment. I feel sorry for Young Broadcastings stock holders. The stock was $1.57 a share and now is 3 cents.

  14. Duggem, I just had to write you back as you said that Dish was built on the backs of these stations, when in fact it is the opposite. These stations and their affiliates do not have the signal strength by themselves to reach anywhere near the number of people that Satellite and Cable providers help them reach. Without Dish Network, Young Broadcasting would be in even more trouble than they are obviously in financially.
    I do think that both Dish Network and Young Broadcasting should sit back down and try to negotiate this reasonably and come to an agreement, even if it results in the sale of Young to Dish or someone who an afford to manage them better and serve the public better than they have in the past.
    Manny, I agree you completely – you are a good man!

  15. Dish has screwed me over twice in 2008. I’ve had enough! Please take a look at this. If you saw the informercial it was like a bad Bush political one sided move. It was disgusting. Charlie has a reputation of being cheap. Just ask yourselves why DirectTV doesn’t have the same problems or TimeWarner? Look at this forum. They screwed me over with taking away one of my favorite channels being GolTV.

  16. ABC can go to hell. I’ll just go watch my shows on-line. And if I lose that option, then I’ll watch other shows on other networks.

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