Apollo cuts DISH customer access to its local stations in 10 markets

Scott Greczkowski

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Apollo cuts DISH customer access to its local stations in 10 markets

July 22, 2020

- Apollo's Cox Media Group stations dark on DISH as temporary restraining order expires
- Apollo blacks out stations despite customers' need for access to local channels during COVID-19 pandemic


ENGLEWOOD, Colo., July 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- International private equity firm, Apollo Global Management, today blacked out DISH customers' access to its local channels in 10 markets.
"We don't understand why Apollo is choosing to put customers in the middle of its negotiations, especially during a global pandemic when customers need access to local news and programming," said Andy LeCuyer, DISH senior vice president of programming. "We have offered to apply our current agreement — with higher rates — to keep their channels available and avoid any service interruption while we continue to negotiate, but they refused, demanding a 40-percent increase to rates agreed to last year. We want to come to a long-term agreement that is fair for our customers."

DISH and Apollo have ongoing litigation about whether DISH's carriage agreement for the Cox stations was prematurely terminated when Apollo acquired those stations. In January, the Cook County (Illinois) Circuit Court entered a temporary restraining order that enjoined Apollo from interfering with DISH's right to retransmit the Cox stations under the original Cox agreement. The case was later transferred to federal court and, earlier today, the federal court dissolved the temporary restraining order.
DISH requested Apollo's consent to allow the stations to remain on the air after dissolution of the temporary restraining order, but Apollo rejected DISH's request — even though DISH offered to pay increased rates for the stations going forward, and to true-up any amounts found owing if Apollo ultimately prevails in the parties' litigation. Apollo's decision to black out its channels inhibits customers from getting their local programming as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the nation. DISH has worked with the owners of 49 stations who have all agreed to set aside contractual disputes and accept comparable offers to keep local stations on the air, given the current pandemic situation and the resulting harm blackouts would cause consumers.

Affected Stations
Apollo's action affects viewers of local stations in the following markets:
  • WSB-TV, Channel 2 (ABC, Atlanta, GA)
  • WFXT-TV, Channel 25 (FOX, Boston, MA)
  • WSOC-TV, Channel 9 (ABC, Charlotte, NC)
  • WAXN-TV, Channel 64 (IND, Charlotte, NC)
  • WHIO-TV, Channel 7 (CBS, Dayton, OH)
  • WFOX-TV, Channel 30 (FOX, Jacksonville, FL)
  • WFOX2-TV, Channel 32 (MNT, Jacksonville, FL)
  • WHBQ-TV, Channel 13 (FOX, Memphis, TN)
  • WFTV-TV, Channel 9 (ABC, Orlando, FL)
  • WRDQ-TV, Channel 27 (IND, Orlando, FL)
  • WPXI-TV, Channel 11 (NBC, Pittsburg, PA)
  • KIRO-TV, Channel 7 (CBS, Seattle, WA)
  • KOKI-TV, Channel 23 (FOX, Tulsa, OK)
  • KMYT-TV, Channel 41 (MNT, Tulsa, OK)
DISH customers can visit DISHPromise.com for more information.
 

Joe Capitano

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 19, 2003
184
59
Apollo cuts DISH customer access to its local stations in 10 markets
(including...)
  • KIRO-TV, Channel 7 (CBS, Seattle, WA)
The cutoff to the barker channel here came at about 9:50 AM PT just before "The Big Deal" on "Let's Make A Deal." If the Coronavirus hell hadn't wiped it out KIRO would have shown the Seafair Torchlight Parade this coming weekend or next. Now, with the loss of that and the hydro races (KING/Tegna got those) they have nuttin'. At least we got to see Steve Railble retire a couple of weeks ago.

Even stranger thing: COX/Apollo just renewed its CBS affiliation, which keeps that network from ending up back at now-CBS-owned KSTW/11. May Apollo fry. They've lost me until things are restored.

Tick...Tick...Tick...
 

Yespage

SatelliteGuys Master
Pub Member / Supporter
Feb 27, 2010
7,636
5,647
Ohio
These disagreements eat into my infomercial time on the local channels. How can I watch infomercials on the weekend in the afternoon... if I don't have access to my local channels? Come on Dish, agree for me to pay that extra premium so I can bring infomercials back on my TV on the weekend.

Aren't local channels more expensive (much more) than cable channels now?
 

osu1991

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 4, 2004
9,866
2,302
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Got rid of Cox cable at the beginning of the year after 5yrs with them and over 15 with Dish.

I don’t even turn my TiVo’s on now for locals as there is nothing recording. I watch a little bit of stuff on Philo and that’s about it. Let the locals stay dark and actually start serving the local viewers with something other than 12hrs of news repeats 6-8hrs of infomercials and 4-6hrs of network programming. I can’t even remember the last time I watching anything on MyNet41 in Tulsa. Fox 23 would have had some viewing for the NFL and College football but that’s probably gone now.

I’m sure we will have constant scrolls running on the screen now of the OTA feed telling half the State how bad Dish is.
 

Joe Capitano

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 19, 2003
184
59
These disagreements eat into my infomercial time on the local channels. (bla bla bla - CUT IT!)
I know. This is deserved sarcasm. But then the NFL isn't up and running yet. The 194-millionth rerun of "Larry King's Prostate Report" and all that other paid-time junk will ultimately go byebye.
 

thomasjk

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 10, 2006
2,150
467
Charlotte, NC
Well that affects us. Channel 9 and 64 in Charlotte NC.

Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk
I retruned home from my MIL's house and the channels were gone. The wife said they just switched to a slate in the middle of programming. Channel 9 is our primary local news channel. We alsmost never watch 64. We will be using our antenna and OTA module for thew foreseeable future.
 

chiodo

SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
Aug 17, 2005
486
178
Pacific NW
Well, the wife watch Y&R on CBS (KIRO) but since they stopped filming the show due to COVID, and what pisses me off the most is I decided to sub to CBS ALL Access paid for a year up front early this year, because of Star Trek Picard and Discovery and the wife to watch Y&R commercial free, now none of those shows are on, I figured they would have the Paramount/Viacom library of movies, but the movies they have a terrible. So the whole this is a waste. I'm going to cancel my locals on Dish I rarely watch them. I'm not paying a cent more for locals.
 
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eddie willers

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 15, 2003
1,076
913
Braselton, Ga.
On Dish? I thought Locast was free.
Reading the reviews at Amazon they seem to split 50/50 between 5 stars and 1 star. The one stars explain that though it is "free", they will interrupt you in the middle of a program to beg you to "donate". If you sign up to "donate" $5/ month, the interruptions go away.

I'm guessing the 5 star people are donating.
 
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babnmn

SatelliteGuys Family
Aug 31, 2011
99
67
Arizona
I have locast and do do the donation thing. I do not watch a lot of local stuff but i have it hooked to fitzy tv with my philo sub and its like a poormans catv. I have the app on my phone as well as firesticks and roku. I know they only have so many markets available right now , but there is was around that issue. As for CBS All Access I beleive they are going to relaunch it soon after the CBS/ Viacom things was done. :
Major changes are coming to the company’s core paid streaming service, ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish said during the company’s earnings call this morning. Those changes will tie directly into the current CBS All Access platform; the company isn’t building a new version from scratch, but it will increase the amount of content available and make major technology changes.

“We’re accelerating our plans for an expanded subscription service, building off CBS All Access, with major changes coming this summer, as we track towards the rebrand and relaunch of a transformed product,” Bakish said.

From : hXXps://www.theverge.com/2020/5/7/21250402/cbs-all-access-relaunch-streaming-viacom-nickelodeon-mtv-sports-news
 

tornado

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 13, 2004
357
72
Tulsa
I didn't realize the local Fox was under new ownership.
Since I am receiving the channel with an antenna for free I am not blacked out.
Dish supplied and installed an antenna for free. I think I had to pay for the adapter.
It is only right that due to this free television station wanting so much money Dish should keep their station off. It's not Dish's fault and it hurts innocent subscibers.
Dish falsely looks like they are responsible when the station should be supplying their channel for free since it is a free channel.
Ridiculous.
 

NYDutch

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Pub Member / Supporter
Dec 28, 2013
2,648
3,563
Where our wheels go
On Dish? I thought Locast was free.
The $5 is the minimum monthly contribution to Locast that will get rid of the repeating donation pitches. It doesn't matter if you watch Locast with the Hopper app or any other app. The service is free if you don't mind the pitches, but well worth the $5 otherwise if you're in one of the 21 DMA's they now serve.
 
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tedb3rd

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Pub Member / Supporter
Lifetime Supporter
On Dish? I thought Locast was free.
The LoCast app is on Dish (at least for Hoppers) but LoCast is only available in select markets. If you are not in a market then it won't work. My guess is it's a regulatory thing. I also have the LoCast app on my phone and it won't work without access to location or if I go on a trip and I'm not in an area with locast coverage, and I can't watch my locals through locast when I am out of town.
 
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NYDutch

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Dec 28, 2013
2,648
3,563
Where our wheels go
The LoCast app is on Dish (at least for Hoppers) but LoCast is only available in select markets. If you are not in a market then it won't work. My guess is it's a regulatory thing. I also have the LoCast app on my phone and it won't work without access to location or if I go on a trip and I'm not in an area with locast coverage, and I can't watch my locals through locast when I am out of town.
I use the "Location Guard" add-on with Chrome or Firefox to fool Locast's geolocating function. I also use NordVPN on my Firestick for the same purpose. On my Android phone I use the "Fake GPPS" app. I can watch any of the 21 DMA's Locast serves from anywhere.
 
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NorCal Joe

Member
May 23, 2020
12
17
Northern California
Apollo cuts DISH customer access to its local stations in 10 markets

July 22, 2020

- Apollo's Cox Media Group stations dark on DISH as temporary restraining order expires
- Apollo blacks out stations despite customers' need for access to local channels during COVID-19 pandemic


ENGLEWOOD, Colo., July 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- International private equity firm, Apollo Global Management, today blacked out DISH customers' access to its local channels in 10 markets.
"We don't understand why Apollo is choosing to put customers in the middle of its negotiations, especially during a global pandemic when customers need access to local news and programming," said Andy LeCuyer, DISH senior vice president of programming. "We have offered to apply our current agreement — with higher rates — to keep their channels available and avoid any service interruption while we continue to negotiate, but they refused, demanding a 40-percent increase to rates agreed to last year. We want to come to a long-term agreement that is fair for our customers."

DISH and Apollo have ongoing litigation about whether DISH's carriage agreement for the Cox stations was prematurely terminated when Apollo acquired those stations. In January, the Cook County (Illinois) Circuit Court entered a temporary restraining order that enjoined Apollo from interfering with DISH's right to retransmit the Cox stations under the original Cox agreement. The case was later transferred to federal court and, earlier today, the federal court dissolved the temporary restraining order.
DISH requested Apollo's consent to allow the stations to remain on the air after dissolution of the temporary restraining order, but Apollo rejected DISH's request — even though DISH offered to pay increased rates for the stations going forward, and to true-up any amounts found owing if Apollo ultimately prevails in the parties' litigation. Apollo's decision to black out its channels inhibits customers from getting their local programming as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the nation. DISH has worked with the owners of 49 stations who have all agreed to set aside contractual disputes and accept comparable offers to keep local stations on the air, given the current pandemic situation and the resulting harm blackouts would cause consumers.

Affected Stations
Apollo's action affects viewers of local stations in the following markets:
  • WSB-TV, Channel 2 (ABC, Atlanta, GA)
  • WFXT-TV, Channel 25 (FOX, Boston, MA)
  • WSOC-TV, Channel 9 (ABC, Charlotte, NC)
  • WAXN-TV, Channel 64 (IND, Charlotte, NC)
  • WHIO-TV, Channel 7 (CBS, Dayton, OH)
  • WFOX-TV, Channel 30 (FOX, Jacksonville, FL)
  • WFOX2-TV, Channel 32 (MNT, Jacksonville, FL)
  • WHBQ-TV, Channel 13 (FOX, Memphis, TN)
  • WFTV-TV, Channel 9 (ABC, Orlando, FL)
  • WRDQ-TV, Channel 27 (IND, Orlando, FL)
  • WPXI-TV, Channel 11 (NBC, Pittsburg, PA)
  • KIRO-TV, Channel 7 (CBS, Seattle, WA)
  • KOKI-TV, Channel 23 (FOX, Tulsa, OK)
  • KMYT-TV, Channel 41 (MNT, Tulsa, OK)
DISH customers can visit DISHPromise.com for more information.
Go Locast!
 
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