Hearst Threatens Dish Network With 33-Station Blackout

Feb 28, 2017  •  Post A Comment

With a deadline looming in retransmission talks between Hearst Television and Dish Network, Hearst has begun threatening a blackout, FierceCable reports.

“The broadcaster, which owns 33 stations in 26 media markets across 39 states, began telling Dish customers over the weekend that it might remove its signals from the satellite service ‘if negotiations between representatives of Hearst Television and Dish Network are unsuccessful in reaching a conclusion before March 1, 2017,'” the story reports.

Dish responded with a statement saying: “Only Hearst Television Inc. can force a blackout of its channels. DISH is actively working to reach a deal before the contract expires. Dish has successfully negotiated agreements representing hundreds of stations in recent months that benefit all parties, including our viewers. We are unsure why Hearst decided to involve customers in the contract negotiation process at a point when there is still time for the two parties to reach a mutually beneficial deal.”

Hearst also was involved in a blackout on DirecTV for several days early this year.

“Hearst also blacked out Dish in April 2014 in the run-up to the current retrans deal with the satellite operators.,” FierceCable notes.

Hearst said in a statement to its customers: “While we believe that we and Dish Network can conclude our negotiations before March 1, so as not to deprive any of our respective viewers and customers of our programming, we want to advise our viewers and customers that the possibility of nonrenewal of our current agreement exists.”


  1. Here is one of the culprits of the high cost of video services. Local broadcast stations charging outrageous prices to carry their channel to both satellite and CATV companies alike! Every year they raise their costs, forcing the video carriers to either raise their cost to consumers or shut their doors. And the gotcha on this is that the broadcast refuse to do any a-la-cart style pricing. They want that rate for every subscriber to the video carrier service, every month, regardless whether those subscribers even watch the channel!

  2. The answer for the providers is to charge for every channel individually. Then the customer knows exactly how much they are paying and can determine if that is worth what is being charged. The amount for ESPN is significantly different than what is paid for local channels. HBO, ShowTime and other networks are charged individually and customers are given the choice, so we know it is possible. That same choice should be provided for every channel. Then the negotiation is between the customer and the networks. Then the networks will see what their programming is really worth.

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