A blackout affecting TV stations in 33 states is over after Dish Network agreed to terms Sunday with station operator Tegna, the AP reports. Tegna, the largest independent owner of NBC and CBS affiliates, was formed earlier this year when Gannett spun off its publishing assets.
Tegna pulled the plug Friday on Dish access to its 46 TV stations in 38 markets in a contract dispute with Dish, the story reports, noting that Dish had refused to go along with an increase in retransmission consent fees that was sought by Tegna.
The two companies announced Sunday that they had come to terms on a multiyear accord, but they refrained from providing details about the deal.
The dispute was marked by heated accusations on both sides.
“Tegna Inc., based in McLean, Virginia, had previously said Dish routinely drops cable and broadcast channels and called it a ‘serial dropper of channels,'” the AP reports. “It said it has always been able to reach a fair agreement with other providers without disrupting viewers. It noted that Dish was ‘preventing its customers from accessing valued channels, even as customers continue to pay for that content.'”
Dish Network, which is based in Englewood, Colo., reportedly said it had offered a short-term contract extension to Tegna to keep the stations on its systems during negotiations, but indicated that Tegna opted to “use innocent consumers as bargaining chips.”
Gannett spun off its publishing operations on June 29, 2015, with the publishing side retaining the Gannett name. Stations owned by the newly formed Tegna Media include 18 NBC affiliates along with 10 CBS affiliates, nine ABC affiliates and three Fox affiliates.