Dish TV Just Lost More Channels in 27 Areas

Carriage disputes have been common over the past few decades: broadcasting companies want more money from TV providers, one of them disagrees, and the channels go dark as legal negotiations hit a roadblock. There have been more high-profile disputes over the past few weeks, including Disney pulling all its channels from Charter (which was just resolved today), and now more channels have gone dark in 27 areas for Dish Network customers.

Dish Network confirmed on Friday that a carriage dispute with Hearst Television Inc has forced 37 local channels in 27 areas to go dark, as the two companies are unable to reach a compromise. Dish said in a press release, “DISH has been in discussions with Hearst for months working to reach an agreement to keep its channels on air for customers. Instead, Hearst is demanding tens of millions of dollars in rate increases that would affect customers, while it devalues its product by making programming available elsewhere, even as viewership declines.” Hearst’s public statement explains, “We have made significant investments to deliver top tier programming to our viewers and DISH is seeking the right to carry our stations at below market rates, which is neither fair nor reasonable.”

The full list of affected channels are listed below, which are mostly affiliate stations for ABC, NBC, CBS, CW, MNT, and IND:

  • Alburquerque, NM: KOAT
  • Baltimore, MD: WBAL
  • Birmingham, AL: WVTM
  • Boston, MA: WCVB & WMUR
  • Burlington, VT: WNNE & WPTZ
  • Cincinnati, OH: WLWT
  • Des Moines, IA: KCCI
  • Fort Myers, FL: WBBH
  • Fort Smith, AR: KHBS & KHBSD & KHOG
  • Greensboro, NC: WCWG & WXII
  • Greenville, SC: WYFF
  • Harrisburg, PA: WGAL
  • Jackson, MS: WAPT
  • Kansas City, MO: KCWE & KMBC
  • Louisville, KY: WLKY
  • Milwaukee, WI: WISN
  • Monterey, CA: KSBW & KSBWD
  • New Orleans, LA: WDSU
  • Oklahoma City, OK: KOCO
  • Omaha, NE: KETV
  • Orlando, FL: WESH & WKCF
  • Pittsburgh, PA: WTAE
  • Portland, ME: WMTW & WPXT
  • Sacramento, CA: KCRA & KQCA
  • Savannah, GA: WJCL
  • Tampa, FL: WMOR
  • West Palm Beach, FL: WPBF

The outage comes at a particularly frustrating time for customers, as the NFL season starts with games divided across ABC, NBC, and other channels. Disney just kicked off a deal that drops Hulu with Live TV to $50 per month for a limited time, which is partially aimed at Charter customers, but now that might look like a great deal to some Dish Network subscribers.

Dish’s carriage dispute with Mission Broadcasting and White Knight Broadcasting (both owned by Nexstar Media Group) that started in January is also still going, which means some Dish customers now have multiple channels out from the overlapping disputes. For example, Dish’s website confirms that customers in Alburquerque, New Mexico are now affected by two disputes, leaving KOAT (ABC), KWBQ (The CW), and KASY (MyNetworkTV) inaccessible.

Until Dish can work out new distribution deals, affected customers will have to try their luck with a TV antenna, try the streaming apps provided by channels like ABC and CW, or just switch to another TV provider.

Source: Dish, Hearst

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