Hearst Television Inc. blacks out DISH customers in 26 markets

Discussion in 'DISH Network Support Forum' started by Scott Greczkowski, Mar 3, 2017.

  1. Hearst Television Inc. blacks out DISH customers in 26 markets
    Release Date: Thursday, March 2, 2017 10:03 pm MST
    Dateline City: ENGLEWOOD, Colo.
    • Hearst rejects DISH offer to extend contract, including retroactive ‘true-up’ for new rates, which would keep local channels up for benefit of consumers while negotiations continue
    • Hearst turns back on public interest obligations – holds local viewers hostage to create ‘deal leverage’
    • DISH advocates for FCC and Congress to put an end to broadcaster blackouts
    • Broadcaster fees rose to $7.7 billion this year, estimates SNL Kagan

    ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Despite DISH’s offer to extend contract negotiations, tonight Hearst Television Inc. has blacked out DISH customers’ access to its local channels in 26 markets across 30 states. The broadcaster has used the move to gain deal leverage as it seeks above-market rate increases nearly double the current DISH rate, and other unreasonable demands. Hearst has also refused DISH’s offer to match the rates paid by other pay-TV providers.

    DISH Network L.L.C. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH).

    “Hearst is blacking out millions of Americans for the second time since January,” said Warren Schlichting, DISH executive vice president of Programming. “While we are listening to customers and working on their behalf to keep their TV bills manageable, Hearst is again turning its back on its public interest obligations and using innocent consumers as bargaining chips.”

    Hearst blacked out millions of DirecTV customers on January 1 after a retransmission consent agreement expired.

    “With DISH willing to grant an extension and a retroactive true-up on rates, Hearst had nothing to lose and consumers had everything to gain by leaving the channels up,” said Schlichting.

    DISH and Hearst had been making steady progress in their recent negotiations, and DISH was hopeful that they would come to a mutual agreement to renew carriage of its local stations. In that spirit, DISH offered a short-term contract extension to Hearst that would include a retroactive true-up when new rates were agreed upon, and would preserve the ability of DISH customers to access the Hearst stations while negotiations continued. The true-up would ensure that Hearst was made whole at the new rates for the period of any contract extension.

    “We are actively working to negotiate an agreement that promptly returns this content to DISH’s programming lineup,” added Schlichting. “In the meantime, for some of our customers a simple indoor antenna can be a great way to receive these channels for free, over the air. We’ll work with our customers to find alternative ways to watch programming.”

    Need for Retransmission Consent Reform

    “Hearst’s decision to cut ties with DISH customers is a prime example of why Washington needs to stand up for consumers and end local channel blackouts,” said R. Stanton Dodge, DISH executive vice president and general counsel. “Broadcasters like Hearst use their in-market monopoly power to put profits ahead of the public interests they are supposed to serve.”

    Along with other pay-TV companies and public interest groups that form the American Television Alliance, DISH has called for the U.S. Congress to revamp the out-of-date laws that favor these high fees and unnecessary blackouts.

    Dodge continued: “We continue to urge the FCC and Congress to update a system that emboldens broadcasters to black out consumers.”

    Rising Retransmission Rates

    Each year, the cost to carry local broadcast stations rises far beyond the rate of inflation, leading to blackouts across the country that affect millions of subscribers of various pay-TV companies. According to SNL Kagan, a leading source on the media industry, broadcast fees burdening pay-TV consumers were expected to reach an unprecedented $7.7 billion in 2016. These same rates, for channels available free over the air, were as low as $215 million in 2006, soared to $4.9 billion in 2014 and are expected to more than double to reach $11.6 billion in 2022.

    DISH customers can visit DISHPromise.com for more information on how to watch their content on other channels, online, or free with an over-the-air antenna, as well as to ask the FCC and Congress to end TV blackouts.

    Hearst Television Inc.’s action affects viewers of various ABC, CBS, CW, NBC, MyNetwork, and independent stations in 26 markets. For a list of affected stations, visit: https://dishnetwork.newshq.businesswire.com/sites/dishnetwork.newshq.businesswire.com/files/doc_library/file/Hearst_Television_Inc._Station_List.pdf
  3. There goes my NBC
  4. Woo hoo :)

    I love Dish Network channel disputes.
  5. I'm just glad it didn't happen during nfl season like dtv's did
    Elsguy likes this.
  6. People will blame Dish. They always do. Doesn't matter who is really at fault. The public doesn't understand these disputes
  7. Since Scott is OK with posting Dish's "spin", here's Hearsts:

    My guess is the truth is somewhere in the middle.
    HiDefRev and Troch77 like this.
  8. Yep...that's what these channel providers "blackout" song and dances are for...to make Dish look bad (at the expense of their own viewers and advertisers), even though Dish offers to keep the channels active and reimburse the new contracts retroactively. To take their own channels down, even though Dish offers to keep them live during negotiations shows how little they care about their viewers, IMO.
  9. Keep in mind during one of the earlier (like a couple months ago) disputes, Dish said they offered to keep the channels up and the broadcaster turned them down and the broadcaster said they offered to keep the channels up and Dish turned them down. BOTH sides will "spin" the facts to put themselves in a better light.
  10. None of my locals are effected. YEAH!
    Troch77 likes this.
  11. I'll just have to record any shows for the DW OTA for now. No big deal. I can also pick up the Philly locals, so I have guide data from them.
  12. I have no dog in this fight, if Hearst would have sent me their press release I would have posted it too.

    Local TV is not worth what it use to be with so much of it (including local news) for free on the Internet. I think these stations need to find a better business model.
  13. Just like any business, they're going to try to maximize their profit. That can come from cutting expenses or increasing revenue. Personally, I have no problem with Dish (any MVPD) saying "you're charging too much, we're not going to pay". But then, IMO, you can't complain when the broadcaster (whether local or network) says "OK, if you don't want to pay, we're not going to allow you to carry our channel." At the same time, channels can't complain if MVPDs don't agree to their offer.

    I think, if there's going to be a law enacted, it requires binding arbitration at the end of the contract, channels don't get pulled, but the MVPD will "true up" to the end of the previous contract. Seems simple to me.
  14. I'm not so sure. These locals have been quoted claiming they believe they provide as much value as ESPN. Nevermind the fact that you can receive locals for FREE over the air, whereas with ESPN you cannot.
  15. WOO HOO you're lucky Direct tv never has them..........go away fool
  16. Hearst is the local NBC in my market. Honest to God I don't know the last time I've watched it. I hope they go out of business, I'm tired of paying for channels I can get for free.
  17. a question i always ask when these come up

    do the stations reimburse advertisers for loss of viewership?
    HiDefRev and TheLip like this.
  18. Nope. In fact in past dispute I have personally contacted advertisers and they had no clue their ads were cut off from a large chunk of their viewing audience.
    Tampa8 likes this.
  19. Greed! Greed!! Greed!!!. Double and triple dipping! They make money from advertising first during live broadcast. Then they turn around and charge DISH and us for watching them, and then they insert new advertisements when we use their streaming apps which by they way you can't use without a DISH sign in! And these are supposed to be "free to air" channels. In other countries such as India, you cannot charge cable companies for Free To Air channels and the cable companies cannot charge you for that either ( although they fudge the last part sometimes as you can imagine!).
    yomama, Tampa8 and MikeD-C05 like this.
  20. That claim is "spin". That's my point. BOTH sides make statements to put themselves in the best light. No one is forcing MVPDs to provide locals (that I know of). If locals aren't "worth it", why carry them in the first place?
    Gobucks likes this.
  21. Does Dish pay back all of its effected customers during disputes?

    Samsung Galaxy S6 Active
    crodrules likes this.
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