Satellite MVPD DISH Network is locked once again into a retransmission consent battle with a television group. This time it’s Sinclair Broadcast Group, and time is short – the current agreement between the two companies expires at midnight8/15/12.
70 out of 74 Sinclair stations are involved in the dispute. (The company’s station total is set to expand to 82 once it closes on the pending acquisition of several Newport Television stations.)
In a statement, the television group said, “Although Sinclair is continuing to negotiate with Dish over the terms of a new agreement, Sinclair believes significant doubt exists as to whether or not a new agreement will be reached with Dish. In this event, Dish will discontinue carriage of these stations beginning at12:01 a.m.onThursday, August 16, 2012.”
DISH fired back, saying Sinclair was asking for a “massive” increase in compensation. “We carry more than 1,800 local broadcast stations nationwide. Sinclair is asking for more than any other station anywhere in the country,” said Dave Shull, senior vice president of programming for DISH. “This goes beyond pure corporate greed — it’s profoundly insensitive to the needs of the public.”
RBR-TVBR observation: DISH’s position would be more believable if this was a rare occurrence, but the fact is that DISH is one of only three MVPDs that tend to get involved in blackout situations. This piece of evidence strongly suggests that DISH, DirecTV and TWC are pushing negotiations to the blackout point. Most MVPDs rarely or never get that far, including those which carry Sinclair stations. Do the math…