Media General Stations Go Dark On Dish Network In Retrans Dispute

The contract impasse left Dish Network customers through the southeast, Ohio, and Rhode Island unable to watch Media General‘s 18 network affiliated stations — including eight NBC affiliates, eight CBS ones, and one apiece for ABC and CW. They went dark on Dish last night as the station owner and the No. 2 satellite company remained at loggerheads after a 90-day extension to their previous agreement expired.  Dish has said that it wanted to wait until Media General completed its merger with Young Broadcasting, which has a carriage agreement with the satellite company. “The only reason for Media General to reject that offer is to try to squeeze consumers for more money, to the tune of five times what Dish currently pays,” it said last month. “We’re working on behalf of our customers to keep the programming at a fair price.” The broadcaster says that up to now it has “never experienced a disruption of service with any pay-TV company because of a contract impasse….All we are asking of Dish is to be fairly compensated for our programming – what we seek amounts to pennies a day per subscriber.” The dispute affects nearly 13% of the 9M homes Media General reaches.  

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