Nexstar Media Group forces blackout of nearly 5.4 million DISH customers (1 Viewer)

Scott Greczkowski

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Nexstar Media Group forces blackout of nearly 5.4 million DISH customers

  • Nexstar initiates largest local station blackout in TV history, holds viewers hostage to create negotiation leverage
  • Broadcaster giant demands more than $1 billion for local broadcast station fees
  • Nexstar ignores extension offers and takes away local stations


ENGLEWOOD, Colo., December 2, 2020 – Nexstar Media Group today forced the largest broadcast affiliate station blackout in TV history, rejecting DISH’s calls for a contract extension and taking away local programming from nearly 5.4 million DISH subscribers.



“We made a fair offer to keep Nexstar stations available to our customers, but Nexstar rejected it,” said Brian Neylon, Group President, DISH TV. “Earlier today, we offered to extend the current contract and hold subscribers harmless while negotiations continue — once at 11:53am MST and again at 3:11pm MST — but Nexstar never responded. We don't understand why Nexstar insists on prioritizing greed above American viewers, many of whom rely on local programming for their news and entertainment, especially during this global pandemic.”



In recent years, Nexstar went on a $12 billion local broadcast station buying spree to become the largest and most powerful station owner in the country. Now that Nexstar is the biggest in the industry, it is strong-arming companies like DISH to pay outrageous rates and force unprecedented increases onto customers. In its latest move, the broadcaster has blacked out its stations from DISH customers to gain negotiation leverage in an effort to line its wallet with viewers’ hard-earned money — a tactic it used last year against DirecTV and AT&T U-verse.



“Nexstar is demanding over $1 billion in fees for stations that are available for free over the air,” added Neylon. “This shocking increase is the largest we have ever seen. While we work to keep subscribers’ TV bills as low as possible, Nexstar has no problem passing the buck on to American consumers. It has turned its back on its public interest obligation and is demanding significantly more money for the same programming.”



Nexstar is also forcing DISH to carry WGN America as part of this deal, a channel that has experienced declining viewership in recent years. Nexstar acquired this channel when it bought Tribune last year. Now, the broadcast owner is looking to DISH customers to pay back this investment. Nexstar is demanding a significant payment for this low-rated channel that airs syndicated reruns found on other DISH stations and features a news program that can be accessed for free online.



“We have been working tirelessly to come to a deal that is fair for DISH, Nexstar, and most importantly, our subscribers, but Nexstar is only interested in increasing its own wealth,” said Neylon. “We will not sit by and accept Nexstar’s unreasonable demands. We will continue fighting on behalf of our customers to come to a deal that is beneficial for all.”



Affected Stations



Nexstar Media Group’s action affects viewers of various ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC stations in 120 markets across 42 states and the District of Columbia, as well as viewers of WGN America in all markets. For a full list of affected stations, click here.



DISH customers can visit DISHPromise.com or click here for the most updated information.
 
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Reactions: TheKrell

AZ.

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 26, 2011
933
255
crazy
Face it...This is the free market, try can do and try anything they want to increase profits..

You dont want regulation you get out of control corporations greedy for more money..

I find it as frustrating, but it goes to a list of things that could be easily fixed.
 

PortlandChris

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 24, 2012
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Portland, OR
NFL football is Sunday, so if there is a deal it will come late Saturday. If there is no deal then well it may be a long time.

Looks like maybe they want to tie WGN America to everything, and DISH is not interested in paying top dollar for a channel of re-runs - and stuff that is already on many locals and streaming services. WGN, at one time, ventured into new shows and some were decent, but they backed out of all of that and went back to re-runs. So it is hard to justify paying top dollar for this.
 

Riverpilot

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 14, 2015
204
117
Iowa
I've been without my local Fox station for months. It won't surprise me if Charlie doesn't renew the contract. As Charlie has said, you find the programming else where. What Charlie has forgotten, is yep... we the customers keeping you in business can find the programming else where by going to a different service.
Locals are already singled out, let the customers decide whether they want to pay for them. You're not fighting for the customers Charlie, you're fighting for your own wealth.

If WGN is attached, then let US the customers know the price and let US decide if we want to pay for it.
My local cable company has disputes as well, but they've been less than a month as far back as I can remember. The only thing keeping me with Dish right now is the Hopper 3 and the tuners.
 

chiodo

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Pub Member / Supporter
Aug 17, 2005
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Pacific NW
What you're talking about is Al La Carte, have the channel as a seperate addon or included with the local stations affected and charge accordingly. Thing is There's probably a set minimum of subscribers to be included in the contract and then he has to carry these channels that few people would likely be paying the $$ for. As he says why should he pay too dollar to these greedy corporations, when Locast rebroadcasts half of those stations for free.The hopper has a Locast app. And OTA is another option. When I first started with Dish, locals were free or no extra charge. Then it staggered in pricing.
So I dropped locals rarely watch any TV shows on Network TV, don't watch local news and if I do I can stream it. Lost interest in football, this year.

Anyway I'm sure Charlie knows what he's doing it's his business after all. The only reason I'm still with Dish is because of the Hopper 3.
 

Jallen0

SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 5, 2015
45
25
North Carolina
I have to say this is it for me as well. I have been without my ABC channel for months...and now Fox? It's too much, especially as I cannot get OTA transmission. If I am going out of the Dish network for those two channels, I am going out for everything. It's been a good 20 plus years but all good things come to an end.
 

Howard Simmons

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Jun 25, 2018
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NFL football is Sunday, so if there is a deal it will come late Saturday. If there is no deal then well it may be a long time.

Looks like maybe they want to tie WGN America to everything, and DISH is not interested in paying top dollar for a channel of re-runs - and stuff that is already on many locals and streaming services. WGN, at one time, ventured into new shows and some were decent, but they backed out of all of that and went back to re-runs. So it is hard to justify paying top dollar for this.
I was wondering what Dish is going to do this January for price increases?:oops:
 
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RobMeyer1

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Jan 13, 2006
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Let's do some math. $1,000,000,000/5,400,000 customers = $185+ per customer asked by Nexstar. If this is for 36 months, then Nexstar is asking Dish to charge an average of over $5 per month to each Dish customer who currently has channels blacked out.

I have both the local Fox and CBS stations blacked out, but am using the dual tuner adapter connected to my Hopper 3 to get them OTA. I am getting CBS guide data, but not Fox. I talked to them yesterday about the missing Fox guide data. I think we are at a breaking point. I don't want to pay over $5 per month to Nexstar for 2 local channels that are free OTA. That doesn't include the costs Dish has in providing these channels. Dish will either have to make large price increases for carrying locals or plan to permanently drop locals who demand such high fees. Both of these options will lead to more customers cutting the cord.

Dish needs to design a new Hopper that can get OTA guide data for all local channels and that offers a 4+ OTA tuner adapter or that is built in. If they don't have satellite capacity for all that guide data, then use the internet connection most of us have. They could also extract program info from the OTA signal. The majority of Dish customers can get local broadcast channels OTA.

Dish needs to end this game played by Nextar and other local TV providers where they hold customers hostage to their outrageous demands to double our rates every 3 years. If Dish designs all their equipment properly, they could force these providers to either provide their channels for a low fee or permanently drop their local channels. Alternatively, they could let each local channel set a fee to be paid only by customers who choose to subscribe to that channel.
 

crodrules

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Jun 14, 2014
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Let's do some math. $1,000,000,000/5,400,000 customers = $185+ per customer asked by Nexstar. If this is for 36 months, then Nexstar is asking Dish to charge an average of over $5 per month to each Dish customer who currently has channels blacked out.
Unfortunately though, that increase would likely be spread out among all customers. So, a smaller increase for those of us with Nexstar stations, but it would mean that even subscribers who do not have any Nexstar stations would see an increase, too.
 

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