TEGNA Blacks Out DISH Customers in 38 Markets (1 Viewer)

Scott Greczkowski

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TEGNA Blacks Out DISH Customers in 38 Markets
Release Date:
Friday, October 9, 2015 8:11 pm MDT
Terms:
Dateline City:
ENGLEWOOD, Colo.
  • TEGNA 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
  • TEGNA 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
ENGLEWOOD, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Despite DISH’s offer to extend contract negotiations, tonight TEGNA Inc. (formerly Gannett Co., Inc.) has blacked out DISH customers’ access to its local channels in 38 markets across 33 states and the District of Columbia. The media conglomerate has used the move to gain deal leverage as it seeks above-market rate increases double the current DISH rate.

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

“With DISH willing to grant an extension and a retroactive true up on rates, TEGNA had nothing to lose and consumers had everything to gain by leaving the channels up,” said Warren Schlichting, DISH senior vice president of programming. “Instead, TEGNA chose to turn its back on its public interest obligations and use innocent consumers as bargaining chips.”

DISH and TEGNA 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 the TEGNA local stations. In that spirit, DISH offered a short-term contract extension to TEGNA that would include a retroactive true-up when new rates were agreed upon, and would preserve the ability of DISH customers to access the TEGNA local stations while negotiations continued. The true-up would ensure that TEGNA 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.

Need for Retransmission Consent Reform

“TEGNA’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 TEGNA use their in-market monopoly power to put profits ahead of the public interests they are supposed to serve.”

Broadcasters currently prevent pay-TV companies from temporarily substituting an out-of-market station during a local broadcaster blackout. This leaves consumers in the dark and leaves pay-TV companies powerless to serve their customers.

Dodge continued: “Actions like these are precisely the reason that Congress has mandated, and the FCC has started, a formal process to investigate negotiating tactics that use innocent consumers as bargaining chips.”

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on September 2, 2015. Read the NPRM here: http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2015/db0902/FCC-15-109A1.pdf

Along with other pay-TV companies and public interest groups that form the American Television Alliance (ATVA), DISH has asked the FCC to consider these and other tactics as violating “good faith” negotiations.

Read an ATVA Ex Parte filed with the FCC on September 2, 2015 here: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=60001223881

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 as low as $215 million in 2006, soared to $4.9 billion in 2014 and are expected to more than double to reach $10.3 billion in 2021.

DISH customers can visit DISHPromise.com for more information and to ask the FCC and Congress to end TV blackouts.

For a list of affected stations, visit https://dishnetwork.newshq.businesswire.com/document-library/tegna-station-list.
 

Willh699

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 20, 2009
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Campbell, TX
i don't blame Dish for demanding the FCC to help them out in this public dispute with a greedy media company.

these disputes are getting out of hand. this just insure that the only people who win are the greedy bosses at the companies that own these channels. we lose now by losing channels and then we lose again after the channels return cause we end up having to pay for these channels by dealing with increases in the rates and fees that us paid TV customers must have to deal with. and you wonder why more and more people are becoming cord cutters and telling "Big Cable" to go eat a d***.

if i had great internet where i live with no bandwidth cap restriction, i would had ended up encouraging my household to "cut the cord", but i don't have good internet and the choices between Dish is limited to just DirecTV as i live in a rural part of Hunt County, TX.

and this is the second time in the last year and a half that a DFW area local station was affected by a retransmission carriage dispute, and overall since August 2010 the forth major dispute over a DFW area TV station, with the 2010 Belo dispute which ended with WFAA not being removed, the 2010 Fox dispute which FX, National Geographic channel and all of the local FSN RSN including the one for North TX FSN Southwest were removed and KDFW and KDFI the local Fox O&O stations which were the Fox and MyNetworkTV stations were almost removed from the lineup, but Dish reached a deal to restored the removed national channels and the RSNs they owned as well as kept their O&Os on Dish without a blackout. and last year, the whole Dish/CBS dispute caused Dish customers in the DFW area to lose the local CBS station KTVT and it sister station, independent KTXA were removed from the lineup for one whole night. now this dipute between Tegna and Dish which now has resulted in another blackout.

sad thing is, i'm surprise the Fox contract hasn't expire yet since it's been 5 years since the 4 week blackout of FX, Nat Geo and all of their FSN RSNs.
 

dishdude

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Sep 7, 2003
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NBC is out in my area, but I have an antenna in the attic. But it's not like I watch their crappy channel anyway, they can keep it.

They should be happy anyone watches their channel, it's a dying medium and I am fine tuning to another channel - I rarely watch network programming and I am not at all happy paying retrans fees for something that is available OTA. The FCC granted them the license for those airwaves, and I don't see a value in paying for a retransmission of it. I am further offended by the sensationally written notice on their website - it's like something from the National Enquirer. I am not interested in watching one program they list there - they can stick it.

What number do I call KPNX at so I can tell them to keep their channel off my DISH?



Edit: So I submitted a response through the above contact form about how I could care less if their channel comes back on, and they email me this crap back! I'm perfectly happy with this situation and I am taking DISH's side (even though they have a "troubling" record of dropping crap stations like KPNX)...still not sure why DISH is all in caps (do we refer to all companies by their ticker symbol?) but I'll go with it and side with DISH for not overpaying to rebroadcast crap stations like KPNX. They even say one of the options for getting their lousy programming is FREE OTA and they are faulting DISH for not wanting to pay for this crap? Unbelievable.

 
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charlesrshell

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Wasn't it like 30 Cosby accusers? They probably had to switch venues to accommodate all of them!
Haven't watched it completely yet, waiting for the wife to get up. But I did preview it to make sure it recorded and didn't see anything about the Cosby accusers. I agree with you, not much on NBC that we watch.
 

charlesrshell

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I checked the PTAT NBC recording for last nite. Looks like TEGNA pulled the plug around 9 PM CST right in the middle of Dateline. Lots of folks not going to be happy getting to view just one half of the program!
 

charlesrshell

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Haven't watched it completely yet, waiting for the wife to get up. But I did preview it to make sure it recorded and didn't see anything about the Cosby accusers. I agree with you, not much on NBC that we watch.
I stand corrected. The Cosby accusers are on the second half of last nite's Dateline. Sorry
 

CrimsonKnightDX

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Jun 19, 2015
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I checked mine. It was during the last 2 mins of undateable ... Around 7:57pm MT. Interesting the screen when pixelated black and boom... There was Dish in mid sentence apologizing for the local station pulling their channel. I'm with dish on this. You can only raise the price so high for something that's already free OTA.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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120inna55

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My Dad's going to be terribly disappointed. We have WFAA (ABC) blacked-out and they have the Texas/OU game today. They don't have an OTA antenna. He may not be able to understand why he can't watch it. I have OTA and I live just up the road from him, but he won't want to go anywhere else to watch it. This makes me sad.
 

charlesrshell

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My Dad's going to be terribly disappointed. We have WFAA (ABC) blacked-out and they have the Texas/OU game today. They don't have an OTA antenna. He may not be able to understand why he can't watch it. I have OTA and I live just up the road from him, but he won't want to go anywhere else to watch it. This makes me sad.
It would be a nice gift from you to add an OTA module and rabbit ears to your dad's DVR. It could be important sometime in case of bad weather loss of DISH signal. Your dad would be able to tune in to the local news channel for bad weather updates.
 

120inna55

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It would be a nice gift from you to add an OTA module and rabbit ears to your dad's DVR. It could be important sometime in case of bad weather loss of DISH signal. Your dad would be able to tune in to the local news channel for bad weather updates.
Rabbit ears won't work out here. Deep in the woods outside of Athens, TX. My antenna is on a 50' tower and there's 2 different antennae at the top of the mast. One is pointed to Dallas and the other is pointed to Tyler.
 

boba

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Dec 12, 2003
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Dorchester, TX.
My Dad's going to be terribly disappointed. We have WFAA (ABC) blacked-out and they have the Texas/OU game today. They don't have an OTA antenna. He may not be able to understand why he can't watch it. I have OTA and I live just up the road from him, but he won't want to go anywhere else to watch it. This makes me sad.
In Athens you may need a little more than a set of rabbit ears but you are definitely in OTA reception range. I'm 60+ miles North of Dallas and receive it on a VHF antenna.
 

boba

SatelliteGuys Master
Dec 12, 2003
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Dorchester, TX.
My Dad's going to be terribly disappointed. We have WFAA (ABC) blacked-out and they have the Texas/OU game today. They don't have an OTA antenna. He may not be able to understand why he can't watch it. I have OTA and I live just up the road from him, but he won't want to go anywhere else to watch it. This makes me sad.
In Athens you may need a little more than a set of rabbit ears but you are definitely in OTA reception range. I'm 60+ miles North of Dallas and receive it on a VHF antenna.
 

120inna55

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In Athens you may need a little more than a set of rabbit ears but you are definitely in OTA reception range. I'm 60+ miles North of Dallas and receive it on a VHF antenna.
Yes, I've been using OTA for years. I've had the 50' tower setup with 2 antennae since '96. We got a legacy DISH box at the same time (no OTA integration at that time, of course.) We've gone through several iterations of DISH box upgrades over the years and currently have a HWS. We've never had an issue with OTA with this setup.

When my parents moved out here a couple years ago, they got a 622, but no OTA. I encouraged them to consider an antenna, but they declined. This still doesn't make me happy that he won't have the game on.
 

Dudleydog73

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So he would rather miss the game then come see it at your house? They may not decline the OTA antenna now that they are impacted so maybe an early Christmas gift?
 

zippyfrog

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sad thing is, i'm surprise the Fox contract hasn't expire yet since it's been 5 years since the 4 week blackout of FX, Nat Geo and all of their FSN RSNs.

According to some court documents in the Fox/Dish lawsuit, that contract signed in 2010 expires at the end of this year. "This past January, Fox and Dish agreed to pause the lawsuit over a service that the broadcaster compared to an unlicensed video-on-demand service. At the time, the parties had just come to an agreement over Fox News and told a judge "it is highly likely that the negotiation later this year of a renewal of their 2010 agreement will result in resolution of this lawsuit."

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/foxs-lawsuit-dishs-place-shifting-828662
 

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