DISH Calls on FCC to Intervene as Media General Prolongs Blackout
- DISH files complaint with FCC to address Media General’s ‘bad faith’
- Media General silent in negotiations for 11 days after blackout
- DISH prepared to restore signal within hours
ENGLEWOOD, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, DISH Network L.L.C. (“DISH”) filed a complaint against Media General, requesting that the Federal Communications Commission immediately require Media General to negotiate in good faith to resolve a blackout that began Oct. 1.
In the Complaint, DISH explains how Media General has breached its statutory duty to negotiate in good faith: “Media General’s conduct violates the Commission’s rules requiring good faith negotiation for retransmission consent rights, because, among other things, Media General failed to respond for 11 days to DISH’s last pre-blackout offer.”
Media General blocked programming from DISH customers in 17 markets after a retransmission contract expired.
“DISH customers and Media General viewers were without their shows and events for 11 days before Media General would even contact us,” said Dave Shull, DISH executive vice president. “We reacted with a counter offer within hours and Media General has yet to respond. DISH is asking the FCC to act expeditiously to address Media General’s bad faith, push them back to the negotiating table and submit to mediation to get programming back to consumers.”
In negotiations prior to Media General’s takedown, the Richmond, Va.-based broadcaster rejected DISH’s offer to match the rates paid by primary pay-TV competitors, and additionally declined to receive the same rates DISH pays to other area broadcasters.
Media General has also tried to force DISH to renegotiate its completely separate deal with Young Broadcasting. Media General is making this improper demand as it awaits its proposed acquisition by Young Broadcasting, currently under FCC regulatory review.
Media General’s blackout affects DISH customers in the following markets:
- Augusta, Ga. – WJBF (ABC, channel 6)
- Birmingham, Ala. – WVTM (NBC, channel 13)
- Charleston, S.C. – WCBD (NBC, channel 2) and WCBDD (CW, channel 50)
- Columbus, Ga. – WRBL (CBS, channel 3)
- Columbus, Ohio – WCMH (NBC, channel 4)
- Greenville, N.C. – WNCT (CBS, channel 9) and WNCTD (CW, channel 10)
- Greenville, S.C. – WSPA (CBS, channel 7) and WYCW (CW, channel 62)
- Hattiesburg, Miss. – WHLT (CBS, channel 22)
- Jackson, Miss. – WJTV (CBS, channel 12)
- Mobile, Ala./Pensacola, Fla. – WKRG (CBS, channel 5)
- Florence-Myrtle Beach, S.C. – WBTW (CBS, channel 13)
- Providence, R.I. – WJAR (NBC, channel 10)
- Raleigh-Durham, N.C. – WNCN (NBC, channel 17)
- Roanoke-Lynchburg, Va. – WSLS (NBC, channel 10)
- Savannah, Ga. – WSAV (NBC, channel 3)
- Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla. – WFLA (NBC, channel 8)
- Tri-Cities, Tenn. area – WJHL (CBS, channel 11)
To learn more about DISH’s negotiations with Media General, visit www.DISHValuePledge.com.
To read DISH’s Retransmission Complaint to the FCC, visit the following:
DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH), through its subsidiary DISH Network L.L.C., provides approximately 14.014 million satellite TV customers, as of June 30, 2013, with the highest quality programming and technology with the most choices at the best value, including HD Free for Life®. Subscribers enjoy the largest high definition line-up, the most international channels, and award-winning HD and DVR technology. DISH Network Corporation's subsidiary, Blockbuster L.L.C., delivers family entertainment to millions of customers around the world. DISH Network Corporation is a Fortune 200 company. Visit www.dish.com.