In wake of Tribune blackout, DISH has distributed $7 million worth
of OTA antennas to consumers
- DISH encourages Tribune to follow Sinclair’s example
- DISH and Tribune Broadcasting continue to negotiate
ENGLEWOOD, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, DISH endorsed Sinclair Broadcast Group, the National Association
of Broadcasters, Antennas Direct and TVfreedom.org for their “Broadcast
TV Liberation Tour” that is raising consumer awareness of free
over-the-air (OTA) local TV. Antennas Direct reports it has handed out
$1 million in free OTA antennas in 60 cities.
“It’s smart. The country’s 90 million pay-TV customers, all of whom pay
retransmission fees for local broadcast stations, are frustrated by
rising costs and channel blackouts,” said Warren Schlichting, DISH
executive vice president of Marketing, Programming and Media Sales.
“Complementing the pay-TV experience, which includes the increasing
adoption of streaming services like Sling TV, Sony Vue, Hulu and
Netflix, is good business and may drive a solution to the otherwise
compounding problem of ever-rising retransmission consent fees for local
DISH has embraced this approach having distributed $7 million worth of
OTA antennas to affected customers this summer since Tribune
Broadcasting blacked out its stations from DISH customers on June 12.
“Sinclair is on the right track for consumers and we’d encourage Tribune
to follow its example,” added Schlichting.
Each year, the cost to carry local broadcast stations rises far beyond
the rate of inflation, more than 225 percent over the past five years,
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 will reach an unprecedented $7.7 billion in 2016. These same
rates, for channels available free over the air, were as low as $215
million in 2006, soared to $4.9 billion in 2014 and are expected to more
than double to reach $11.6 billion in 2022.
“While we continue to advocate for an overhaul of the system that guides
these types of negotiations, and have been on opposite sides of the
issue from TVfreedom in the past, it is heartening to see that we may
agree on this point: TV viewers should have a choice on how to watch,
and how much to pay for local TV,” said Schlichting.
Update on Negotiations Between DISH and Tribune
DISH and Tribune continue to progress in retransmission negotiations,
but Tribune continues to black out millions of DISH customers from 42
local stations in 33 markets.
“Tribune is back at the table and we are making headway that I am
hopeful will get these channels back to our customers soon,” said
Schlichting. “Regrettably, Tribune had stopped negotiating for five
weeks, delaying a resolution. In the time since Tribune blacked out its
stations, DISH has completed 10 local retransmission deals, one that
covered more stations and more markets than Tribune. This can be done.”
Affected DISH customers can learn more about the negotiations and find
ways to watch their shows and events by visiting DISHPromise.com.
DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH), through its subsidiaries, provides
approximately 13.593 million pay-TV subscribers, as of June 30, 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.
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DISH Network Corp.
John Hall, 720-514-5351