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Dish Loses 37 Local Channels In Dispute With Hearst Television

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Dish Network has lost access to 37 local channels in 27 markets, due to a dispute with Hearst Television over distribution rates.

Disputes between providers and distributors continues to be a major issue in the live TV industry. Late last month, Spectrum TV customers lost access to a number of Disney-owned stations, including Disney and ESPN.

This latest dispute has now resulted in 37 local channels in 27 markets being removed from Dish TV. The channels were removed on Friday, resulting in customers in affected locations losing access to local stations including ABC, NBC, CBS, CW, and MyNetworkTV.

According to Dish, the two companies were unable to agree a new distribution deal, with Dish alleging that Hearst “forced a channel blackout” in spite of Dish’s “efforts to negotiate in good faith.”

Hearst continues to raise its prices despite its declining viewership and lower-quality content,” said Gary Schanman, executive vice president and group president, video services, DISH Network. “Demanding higher rates for the same entertainment and news just doesn’t make sense, especially as Hearst’s content is widely available on other platforms. This hurts our customers in their pocketbooks and their ability to watch the programming and content they want. Unfortunately, Hearst, like many other programmers, expects DISH and our customers to foot the bill.”

Areas and local channels impacted by this Dish-Hearst dispute include:

  • Albuquerque, NM (KOAT)
  • Baltimore, MD (WBAL)
  • Birmingham, AL (WVTM)
  • Boston, MA (WCVB & WMUR)
  • Burlington, VT (WNNE & WPTZ)
  • Cincinnati, OH (WLWT)
  • Des Moines, IA (KCCI)
  • Fort Myers, FL (WBBH)
  • Fort Smith, AR (KHBS & KHBSD & KHOG)
  • Greensboro, NC (WCWG & WXII)
  • Greenville, SC (WYFF)
  • Harrisburg, PA (WGAL)
  • Jackson, MS (WAPT)
  • Kansas City, MO (KCWE & KMBC)
  • Louisville, KY (WLKY)
  • Milwaukee, WI (WISN)
  • Monterey, CA (KSBW & KSBWD)
  • New Orleans, LA (WDSU)
  • Oklahoma City, OK (KOCO)
  • Omaha, NE (KETV)
  • Orlando, FL (WESH & WKCF)
  • Pittsburgh, PA (WTAE)
  • Portland, ME (WMTW & WPXT)
  • Sacramento, CA (KCRA & KQCA)
  • Savannah, GA (WJCL)
  • Tampa, FL (WMOR)
  • West Palm Beach, FL (WPBF)

Interestingly, Dish used the opportunity to compare its dispute with Hearst to DirecTV’s ongoing dispute with Nexstar and Charter’s ongoing dispute with Disney, suggesting Hearst is using the “same anti-consumer tactics” as Nexstar and Disney.

In terms of the Charter-Disney dispute, Charter made the claim that the current system was broken and that it had proposed a new model to Disney which would better reflect distribution in the streaming era.

Dish seemed to echo many of the same sentiments, suggesting that the current system is “a broken system” and that there is a “disconnect between programming providers and distributors.”

John Finn
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