Cox Media Group Removes Local Channels From DISH

Scott Greczkowski

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News Release Issued: Nov 28, 2022 (4:49pm MST)

To view this release online and get more information about DISH News Alerts visit: Cox Media Group Removes Local Channels From DISH TV Customers

Cox Media Group Removes Local Channels From DISH TV Customers

Cox demands exorbitant rate increase for its channels, and is negotiating for channels it does not yet own
Cox insists on payment from DISH customers who do not subscribe to locals in its markets
As broadcaster viewership declines, Cox continues to underinvest in local programming
ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Nov. 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Cox Media Group today forced a blackout of its local stations for DISH TV customers in nine markets. The broadcaster is using customers as negotiation leverage, demanding a massive fee increase and holding viewers hostage. DISH has fought for years and is proud to be the only TV provider to allow customers to remove their local channels to save money. Despite their public interest obligation, Cox Media wants to force DISH customers to pay for local channels if they choose to receive them free with an over-the-air antenna. In addition, Cox is trying to negotiate for stations it does not yet own.

"Cox's refusal to negotiate in good faith and subsequently forcing a blackout of its stations for DISH customers is deplorable," said Brian Neylon, group president, DISH TV. "Cox is demanding an exorbitant rate increase, negotiating for channels it does not yet own and insists on payment from customers who do not subscribe to local broadcasting, even as it continues to underinvest in local programming. Broadcasters like Cox put profits ahead of the public interests they are supposed to serve, even when its viewership has declined for years."

Over the past two years, Cox's viewership has significantly declined on DISH TV, indicating that many viewers have moved to other channels for their entertainment and news. With its decreased viewership, Cox is attempting to recoup its losses by demanding increased rates of nearly 75 percent from DISH customers.

In the early 2000s, broadcasters like Cox began charging cable and satellite companies to deliver "free" local station signals to the public. This new revenue stream for broadcasters totaled a few million dollars in 2006 but has grown to more than $14 billion dollars today. Free local programming has effectively become a multi-billion-dollar industry for broadcasters and a tax on American consumers. And now, Cox is trying to raise this tax.

"We are deeply disappointed in Cox's decision to remove its channels from DISH after attempting to force an unjustifiable fee increase that directly impacts our customers," said Neylon. "We can't sit by and accept Cox's unreasonable demands. We will continue fighting on behalf of our customers to come to a fair deal that is beneficial for all."

Affected Stations
Cox's action affects viewers of various ABC, FOX, CBS and NBC stations in nine markets. Impacted stations include:

(ABC: WSB) - Atlanta, GA
(FOX: WFXT) - Boston, MA
(ABC: WSOC) - Charlotte, NC
(CBS: WHIO) - Dayton, OH
(FOX: KLSR) - Eugene, OR
(FOX: WFOX) - Jacksonville, FL
(ABC: WFTV) - Orlando, FL
(NBC: WPXI) - Pittsburgh, PA
(CBS: KIRO) - Seattle, WA
DISH customers can visit DISHPromise.com for more information.


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Josephinelcajon

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I just received the email. Thankfully I am in San Diego. It looks like they all want to play the game! I hope Dish customers see this as fighting for fair rates and not get made at Dish.
 
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zippyfrog

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I know Comcast is different... but seeing how they raised or will be raising the cost for their local channels about $7, and some markets are now going to be between $20 and $27 for just the locals, Dish is doing something to keep the locals package at $12. The only increase was from $10 to $12 a couple of years ago - we aren't seeing the yearly $5-$7 increase for just locals like Comcast had. I am sure that Dish is absorbing costs in other ways and the true cost in different markets is more than $12, but I have to appreciate Dish fighting to keep costs down as much as they can.
 
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thomasjk

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Yep. WSOC in Charlotte is off Dish. Greedy pr****.
Last dispute was in Dec 2020.
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Josephinelcajon

Josephinelcajon

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I know Comcast is different... but seeing how they raised or will be raising the cost for their local channels about $7, and some markets are now going to be between $20 and $27 for just the locals, Dish is doing something to keep the locals package at $12. The only increase was from $10 to $12 a couple of years ago - we aren't seeing the yearly $5-$7 increase for just locals like Comcast had. I am sure that Dish is absorbing costs in other ways and the true cost in different markets is more than $12, but I have to appreciate Dish fighting to keep costs down as much as they can.
Inflation is hitting everyone and everything hard, but I feel like more companies are taking advantage of it and raising prices far beyond what they need to. And most employees of those companies are saying they are not seeing any raises from it. Meanwhile their shareholders are earning more than ever! I am all for free trade, but this feels like price gouging if that's the proper term!
 
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dont24

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My local FOX in Boston is gone. Since USA / Iran is on that channel tomorrow, I'm pissed. I can get it OTA. Anyone know if this will affect the 4K broadcast on the 540 channels?
 
Bobby

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My local FOX in Boston is gone. Since USA / Iran is on that channel tomorrow, I'm pissed. I can get it OTA. Anyone know if this will affect the 4K broadcast on the 540 channels?
You will not see it on 540 because it is tied to your Fox station.
 
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Mr Tony

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Folks in Pittsburgh are pissed as WPXI has the Monday night football game rights locally
 
JD1003

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Hopefully DISH gets this resolved or DISHPromise means people will promise to leave DISH.
 
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OrlandoSGM

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The list of stations in the DISH release is incomplete. For my example, here in Orlando, Channel 27 is also off the air. Thanks good news a few years ago DISH gave me an over the air antenna where I can watch them. Just an annoyance doe a few days (I bet).
 
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dont24

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You will not see it on 540 because it is tied to your Fox station.
Game is still showing in my guide, on the 4K channel. Is it tied to my local Fox station or Fox Sports? I guess I'll see at 2pm.
 
mwdxer1

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Hopefully DISH gets this resolved or DISHPromise means people will promise to leave DISH.
These disputes do not help anyone. In the World of streaming services a person can pick up easily another service, Dish will continue to lose customers. I know people now that watch free TV on the Roku or Fire Stick and get their locals OTA.
 
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Yespage

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Game is still showing in my guide, on the 4K channel. Is it tied to my local Fox station or Fox Sports? I guess I'll see at 2pm.
Is streaming on Fox Sports an option or does that only apply to the FS1 broadcasts? If really desperate, there is Spanish via Peacock or Telemundo. It isn't as if the US broadcasters for the US games are worth listening to in English anyway. Why can't Ian Darke be making the calls?
 
navychop

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With declining viewership, it won’t hurt Dish to never carry such OTA again.
 
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MikeD-C05

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Hopefully DISH gets this resolved or DISHPromise means people will promise to leave DISH.
DISH made the decision long ago that they are fine if a sub leaves during local channel disputes. They don't like it but they aren't going to back down and let these local channels hike the bill for everyone else. IF they agreed to their price demands that would be what would happen. But this is the way the local channels have been doing for as long as I can remember. They keep hiking their price with every contract negotiation. Thank God for ota antennas because you pay nothing for reception.
 
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Bobby

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Game is still showing in my guide, on the 4K channel. Is it tied to my local Fox station or Fox Sports? I guess I'll see at 2pm.
There are matches on right now, go to one of them and see what you get.
 
dont24

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There are matches on right now, go to one of them and see what you get.
England / Wales I'd be able to watch, since it's on FOX1. USA / Iran , broadcast unavailable.
 
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thomasjk

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Yep. WSOC in Charlotte is off Dish. Greedy pr****.
Last dispute was in July of 2020 and lasted 5 months.
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bnewt

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I just received the email. Thankfully I am in San Diego. It looks like they all want to play the game! I hope Dish customers see this as fighting for fair rates and not get made at Dish.
Dish always says they are fighting for the customer, yet they raised their rates twice this year, is that fighting for the customer too?
 
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