There was no resolution of the retransmission consent standoff between Dish Network and LIN Media, so at midnight (MT) on Friday 27 stations owned by LIN Media disappeared from Dish Network’s local-to-local service across 17 markets. As usual, each side is blaming the other.
“LIN Media is simply being greedy, insisting on a rate increase so immense that Dish Network and its customers couldn’t possibly absorb it. Their onerous demands and burdensome contract terms would result in payments of millions of dollars more each month, exceeding current market rates and demanding more money than we pay most of our popular national networks,” said a statement from Dave Shull, Sr. VP of Programming for Dish. He also repeated the Dish mantra that it is being abused by a “media conglomerate,” without noting that the so-called conglomerate has less than one-13th the annual revenues of his own company.
“We only want what is fair for our local stations, so that we can continue providing the premium news, sports, entertainment, and other local programming that is most important to viewers,” said LIN CEO Vince Sadusky. “We will continue negotiating with Dish so we may reach an agreement,” he added.
“Dish Network remains open to further talks with LIN Media in hopes of reaching a fair deal to restore the channels,” said Shull.
As is typical when signals are dropped in a retrans dispute, LIN has posted information on its station websites advising consumers how they can switch to DirecTV or a wired cable/telco supplier to continue receiving the station(s) no longer on Dish – and where to buy an antenna for over-the-air reception. The notices also urge viewers to call Dish and complain, providing the company’s toll-free number.
LIN Media’s following television stations owned, operated, or serviced by LIN Media off of Dish:
Albuquerque: KRQE-TV (CBS) and KASA-TV (FOX)
Austin: KXAN-TV (NBC) and KNVA-TV (CW)
Buffalo: WIVB-TV (CBS) and WNLO-TV (CW)
Columbus: WWHO-TV (CW)
Dayton: WDTN-TV (NBC), WBDT-TV (CW)
Ft. Wayne: WANE-TV (CBS)
Grand Rapids: WOOD-TV (NBC), WOTV-TV (ABC)
Green Bay: WLUK-TV (FOX)
Indianapolis: WISH-TV (CBS) and WNDY-TV (MyNetwork TV)
Lafayette: WLFI-TV (CBS)
Mobile: WALA-TV (FOX) and WFNA-TV (CW)
New Haven: WTNH-TV (ABC) and WCTX-TV (MyNetwork TV)
Norfolk: WAVY-TV (NBC) and WVBT-TV (FOX)
Providence: WPRI-TV (CBS) and WNAC-TV (FOX)
Springfield (Mass): WWLP-TV (NBC)
Terre Haute: WTHI-TV (CBS)
Toledo: WUPW-TV (FOX)
RBR-TVBR observation: Now that the FCC’s Thursday meeting has passed and a notice of proposed rulemaking unanimously adopted to define more clearly what constitutes “good-faith” negotiating, we suspect that Dish will pretty quickly get back to the table for some of that good-faith bargaining. No doubt the satellite carrier is getting an earful from customers who’ve lost access to their favorite programs on major networks – and in four of those 17 markets two of the big four networks.