The latest carriage fee dispute between broadcasting stations and pay-TV involves Dish Network and Tribune Broadcasting. The station’s retransmissions went dark at 7pm Eastern Time on June 12th.
Tribine is the largest independent broadcasting and media group in the US with 42 owned or operated stations and terrestrially reaching more than 50 million homes. This row is affecting 33 major US cities and regions as far as Dish subscribers are concerned.
Dish is countering by offering subscribers in the affected markets a free terrestrial antenna.
Dish, in a statement, said: “Tribune is demanding an unreasonable rate increase for channels that are available for free over the air,” said Warren Schlichting, Dish EVP/Programming. “Actions like Tribune’s are what drive price increases and feed customer frustration for our industry. With Dish’s free antenna, customers will continue to receive Tribune channels for free over the air, along with dozens of other broadcast channels not normally available to pay-TV customers.”
“We want to reach an agreement with Dish,” said Gary Weitman, Tribune Media’s senior vice president for corporate relations. “We’ve offered the same fair market rates that Dish already pays other local station groups with ABC, CBS, NBC and CW affiliates with top-rated local news, and other similarly valued cable networks. At the same time, we’re willing to accept the same rates for our local stations and WGN America that others are currently paying us. Dish has refused our offer.”