Washington, D.C. (June 30, 2013)
-- Media General has agreed to a 90-day extension in its
negotiations with Dish for a new programming pact. Dish charged last week that
Media General 'threatened' to force it to drop 17 local stations in 16 markets
when the current programming agreement was scheduled to expire today.
Media General issued a statement saying the company's stations are "important
assets to our local communities...(Media General will) continue to do everything
we can to negotiate a fair, market-based agreement."
The company added: "As we continue to work toward an equitable agreement with
Dish, we have chosen to protect our viewers from a loss of signal by extending
our current contract."
Dish last week took the unusual step of issuing a press release warning
subscribers in the 17 markets that they could lose their channels. The satcaster
charged that Media General was seeking an excessive increase in fees. However,
Dish has not issued a comment since Media General agreed to the 90-day extension
By law, a TV provider can not carry a local station without its permission.
Below is the original article on this fee fight.
Washington, D.C. (June 27, 2013)
-- Dish says Media General is "threatening" to force it to drop
17 local stations in 16 markets unless it agrees to pay higher fees to carry
The satcaster last night took the unusual step of issuing a press release
warning subscribers in those markets that they could lose their channels. The
release does not say when it might be forced to drop the channels or when the
current agreement between the companies expires.
But Media General local affiliates have posted notices saying
the current deal expires on June 30. The notices say that "if a new
retransmission consent contract is not reached by then, by law, Dish cannot
carry certain local television stations owned, operated, or serviced by Media
General Inc. on its satellite system.”
The local affiliates say Media General just wants "fair market value" for its
Media General's corporate office has not issued a comment on Dish's statement.
But Dish said in the press release that "Media General's demand
is well above market increases. Dish will continue to negotiate on behalf of our
customers to keep programming fees fair and as low as possible.”
Dish said the following channels and markets would be affected:
WRBL (HD, channel 3) in Columbus, Ga.; WHLT (channel 22) in Hattiesburg, Miss.;
WJTV (channel 12) in Jackson, Miss;, WKRG (channel 5) in Mobile, Ala.; WBTW
(channel 13) in Myrtle Beach, S.C.; WJHL (channel 11) in the Tri-Cities,
Tennessee area; and WNCT (channel 9) and WSPA (channel 7) in the Greenville,
N.C./Spartanburg, S.C., market.
WVTM (channel 13) in Birmingham, Ala., WCBD (channel 2) in Charleston, S.C.,
WCMH (channel 4) in Columbus, Ohio, WJAR (HD, channel 10) in Providence, R.I.,
WNCN (channel 17) in the Raleigh-Durham, NC.-area, WSLA (channel 10) in the
Roanoke-Lynchburg, Va.-area, WSAV (channel 3) in Savannah, Ga., and WFLA
(channel 8) in Tampa, Fla.