DISH (NASDAQ: DISH) customers in 36 markets were blocked by Raycom Media today from accessing various local television channels. The two companies had been negotiating a new retransmission agreement, and the previous agreement expired at midnight.
“We are ready to listen to a fair proposal from Raycom to bring this impasse to a swift end,” said Sruta Vootukuru, DISH director of programming. “Unfortunately, the broadcaster has not been willing to pursue an agreement that would have avoided this disruption of service to our customers and Raycom viewers. DISH has offered to pay Raycom the same rates as our primary competitors; yet Raycom has stalled negotiations, refusing to accept that fair offer. DISH has negotiated hundreds of local retransmission agreements and on behalf of customers, we hope Raycom will soon agree to terms in line with market standards.”
At this time, Montgomery, Ala.-based Raycom has refused DISH the legal right to carry its programming unless DISH pays more than four times what it was paying under the previous agreement.
The action affects viewers of various ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC-affiliated stations in the following markets: Cleveland, Ohio (CBS); Panama City, Fla. (Fox); Montgomery, Ala. (NBC); Knoxville, Tenn. (Fox); Savannah, Ga. (CBS); Toledo, Ohio (CBS, Fox); Columbus, Ga. (ABC); Richmond-Petersburg, Va. (NBC); Cincinnati, Ohio (Fox); Jonesboro, Ark. (ABC); Tyler-Longview, Texas (ABC); Biloxi-Gulfport, Miss. (ABC); Paducah, Ky. (CBS); Honolulu, Hawaii (CBS and NBC); Tucson, Ariz. (CBS); Shreveport, La. (CBS); Baton Rouge, La. (CBS); Charlotte, N.C. (CBS); Charleston, S.C. (CBS); Ottumwa-Kirksville, Mo. (Fox); Birmingham, Ala. (Fox); Dothan, Ala. (Fox); West Palm Beach, Fla. (Fox); Augusta, Ga. (Fox); Lubbock, Texas (NBC); Lake Charles, La. (NBC); Huntsville-Decatur, Ala. (NBC); Albany, Ga. (NBC); Louisville, Ky. (NBC); Hattiesburg-Laurel, Miss. (NBC); Wilmington, N.C. (NBC and Fox); Evansville, Ind. (NBC); Columbia, S.C. (NBC); Jackson, Miss. (NBC); Florence-Myrtle Beach, Fla. (NBC); and Memphis, Tenn. (NBC).
Also affected are various CW and MyNetworkTV channels in five markets: Baton Rouge, La.; Cleveland, Ohio; Honolulu, Hawaii; Paducah, Ky.; and Richmond-Petersburg, Va.
Last year, broadcasting companies across the country blacked out 91 markets on various pay-TV companies at various times; and an industry watchdog group, the American Television Alliance, has called for the U.S. Congress to “revamp the out-of-date rules” that favor those blackouts.
To learn more about DISH’s negotiations with Raycom, visit www.DISHValuePledge.com.
DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH), through its subsidiary DISH Network L.L.C., provides approximately 14.092 million satellite TV customers, as of March 31, 2013, with the highest quality programming and technology with the most choices at the best value, including HD Free for Life®. Subscribers enjoy the largest high definition line-up with more than 200 national HD channels, the most international channels, and award-winning HD and DVR technology. DISH Network Corporation's subsidiary, Blockbuster L.L.C., delivers family entertainment to millions of customers around the world. DISH Network Corporation is a Fortune 200 company. Visit www.dish.com.