DISH Asks Tribune to Agree to Binding, Baseball-Style Arbitration and End Blackout for DISH Customers; Touts Success of Free Over-The-Air Antenna Solution

  • Tribune blocked DISH customers from its 42 local channels, WGN America on Sunday
  • DISH proposes binding, baseball-style arbitration to reach a fair market-based deal and restore channels for the benefit of innocent consumers
  • DISH fulfills tens of thousands of free OTA antenna requests as part of overwhelmingly successful program
"We want to return these local stations to our customers immediately, and binding, baseball-style arbitration offers a path to reach a fair deal and to serve the best interests of our customers"

ENGLEWOOD, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--DISH Network L.L.C. has invited Tribune Broadcasting Company to enter into binding, baseball-style arbitration modeled on the successful arbitration procedures from the Comcast/NBCU merger to determine the fair market value of their channels. As part of the arbitration process, DISH has asked Tribune to restore its channels on DISH for the benefit of innocent consumers.

“We want to return these local stations to our customers immediately, and binding, baseball-style arbitration offers a path to reach a fair deal and to serve the best interests of our customers," said Warren Schlichting, DISH executive vice president of Programming.

Tribune blacked out DISH customer access to 42 local channels in 33 markets early Sunday evening.

DISH continues to distribute tens of thousands of free over-the-air antennas to customers blacked out by Tribune Broadcasting. The offer remains active and DISH continues to fulfill orders.

“Our solution to offer free over-the-air antennas to impacted consumers has been tremendously successful, and provided consumers with a meaningful option to fight back against the unreasonable demands of broadcasters whose primary goal should be to serve the very consumers that they are using as pawns to gain negotiating leverage," said Warren Schlichting, DISH executive vice president of Programming.

At issue is the renewal of a new multi-year carriage agreement between DISH and Tribune. Tribune has asked for significant rate increases in the face of declining overall viewership.

In addition to asking for significant price increases for local channels, Tribune is attempting to “force bundle” an unrelated and low-performing cable channel, WGN America, with the media conglomerate’s local broadcast stations.

About DISH

DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH), through its subsidiaries, provides approximately 13.874 million pay-TV subscribers, as of March 31, 2016, with the highest-quality programming and technology with the most choices at the best value. DISH offers a high definition line-up with more than 200 national HD channels, the most international channels and award-winning HD and DVR technology. DISH Network Corporation is a Fortune 200 company. Visit www.dish.com.

Contact:

DISH Network Corp.
John Hall, 720-514-5351
news@dish.com

Category:

Thursday, June 16, 2016 7:05 am MDT

Dateline:

ENGLEWOOD, Colo.

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