The stalemate between Hearst Television and the DISH Network over retransmission fees has stretched to 26 days, with tvanswerman.com reporting that no end appears to be in sight — and in fact, the two sides appear to be digging in their heels.
The dispute “gets a little nastier with each passing day,” according to the report.
Hearst fired the latest salvo, posting a message on its station websites that includes harsh words for DISH.
In the statement, Hearst says: “Our agreement with DISH expired at 11:59 p.m. on February 28. In hopes of reaching a fair agreement, we extended our agreement another forty-eight (48) hours, but DISH refused to offer a meaningful counter-proposal. Nonetheless, our negotiators continue efforts to reach an agreement; however, it remains clear that DISH does not intend to make a reasonable proposal.”
The statement also counters claims by DISH that Hearst wants an unreasonable fee increase. “The increase we are seeking is completely in line with what other providers are paying us and is certainly not double what DISH was previously paying,” the Hearst statement says. “This amount is a fraction of what DISH charges viewers to watch our programming.”
The statement also says DISH is responsible for 60 percent of industry blackouts in programming fee disputes, according to the report.
DISH has not yet responded.