Hearst and Dish Kiss and Make Up


DISH Network has reached a multi-year retransmission fees agreement with Hearst Television, ending a nearly two-month stalemate with the owner of stations in 26 markets across 30 states.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, DISH said in a late Wednesday (4/26) release.

Hearst and DISH had been engaged in an ugly battle over retransmission fees, which led to a March 3 blackout by the DBS provider of all Hearst broadcast TV stations across the U.S.

As has been par for the course, DISH said it was “forced” to yank the Hearst stations; by law, any MVPD or DBS provider is prohibit from retransmission of a VHF or UHF station without a rights agreement in place. As DISH and Hearst could not come to terms on a new deal, DISH took the stations to black across the U.S.

Hearst TV stations’ websites featured a note to viewers that took a much different tone than DISH’s explanation as to why the DBS provider pulled the plug on the company’s stations.

“While we had hoped to conclude our negotiations before the extended March 3 deadline, Dish has continued to insist on including material terms that are less favorable than our current agreement,” Hearst said, noting that it has made “significant investments to deliver top-quality programming” to viewers while assailing Dish for “seeking the right to carry our stations at below market rates, which is neither fair nor reasonable.”

After nearly eight weeks, it appears Hearst agreed to terms that were in some way favorable; both Hearst and DISH are keeping mum on the details.

In a statement, Hearst President Jordan Wertlieb thanked DISH subscribers and its “supportive advertisers for their extraordinary patience during this prolonged process.”

News of the agreement with Hearst came as DISH Network, which trades on Nasdaq, confirmed that it will release its Q1 2017 results on Monday (5/1), with a conference call for Wall Street financial analysts set for Noon Eastern.