When it released word that it was having difficulties reaching a retransmission consent agreement with DISH, Sinclair Broadcast Group put out a dry minimalist announcement warning viewers of a possible blackout. DISH responded with an attack on SBG, and now SBG has responded to “set the record straight.”
SBG stated, “Although Sinclair released this announcement simply to provide the public with advance notice of a potential disruption in video service, Dish chose to put out an announcement attempting to blame Sinclair for the failure of the parties to reach agreement on a renewal. Although Sinclair does not believe it is helpful to negotiate private business matters in public, Sinclair felt compelled to respond to Dish’s public attack and set the record straight. Sinclair notes that the prices it is requesting for its extremely popular stations are substantially lower than the amounts Dish is paying for other far less popular channels it carries as a result of Dish’s flawed economic model that on a relative basis compensates channels with little to no audience share more than the broadcast channels. In addition, Sinclair notes that its negotiations with Dish, a company which is currently being sued by the ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC networks as a result of Dish providing its customers with technology that allows its subscribers to delete commercials, involve matters other than pricing.”
The company also offered advice should a disruption occur. “Sinclair would also like to remind its viewers who are Dish subscribers that the Sinclair stations that may be dropped by Dish remain available from a variety of other sources. These sources include DirecTV, at least one cable company in each market, Verizon’s FiOS or AT&T’s U-Verse in many markets, and completely for free over-the-air. While Sinclair is sorry for any inconvenience to its viewers from having to switch providers, rather than taking Dish’s suggestion to blame one party or another in these negotiations, Sinclair suggests its viewers would be better served by simply switching its video service to a provider of Dish that values Sinclair stations enough to carry them.”
RBR-TVBR observation: Well said, Sinclair, well said.