Dish Network unplugs Young stations


Retransmission consent renewal talks between Young Broadcasting and Dish Network ended in a stalemate. KRON-TV San Francisco and nine other Young stations in medium to small markets are not currently being carried as local-to-local channels by Dish. According to Young, it has been asking Dish for about a penny per day per subscriber, which it notes is “considerably less” than the satellite TV provider pays for some less popular non-broadcast channels.

“For the past several months our company has attempted to reach a new agreement with Dish. Unfortunately Dish has elected not to accept our proposal,” Young said on the KRON website in a message to viewers. The company said it had also offered a short extension of the old contract to continue negotiations.

Young’s stations are advising Dish subscribers to contact the satellite TV company if they want their local station restored. Meantime, Young notes that they have alternatives, such as over-the-air reception, DirecTV, the local cable company, and, in some cases, the local phone company.

In addition to KRON (MyNetworkTV), Young Broadcasting owns WKRN-TV (ABC) Nashville, TN; WTEN-TV (ABC) Albany, NY; WATE-TV (ABC) Knoxville, TN; WRIC-TV (ABC) Richmond, VA; WBAY-TV (ABC) Green Bay, WI; KWQC-TV (NBC) Quad Cities, IA-IL; KELO-TV (CBS) Sioux Falls, SD; WLNS-TV (CBS) Lansing, MI; and KLFY-TV CBS) Lafayette, LA.

RBR/TVBR observation: The game continues. The satellite companies and cable MSOs can’t do without the broadcast affiliates – and they know it. But some are willing to pull a network or two out of their channel lineup for a little while to try to gain some retrans negotiation leverage. With lots of retrans contracts expiring December 31st, we expect lots more stories like this before the month is out.