BRIEF: Raycom pulls its stations from Dish

UPDATE, 8:10 a.m.: Dish has released a statement, which can be seen after the jump.

Early this morning, Raycom Media's retransmission consent agreement with Dish Network expired and, at this point, it has not been renewed.

The result: 14WFIE in Evansville, KFVS12 in Cape Girardeau and WAVE 3 in Louisville are no longer available to Dish customers in those three TV markets.

Money, as usual, is the root of the problem: Raycom wants more of it, Dish doesn't want to give it to them. You, the viewer, are left holding the bag.

Raycom will tell you that Dish took the channels off. While that's technically true, it's not because Dish wanted to; under the current rules that govern such things, without Raycom's permission to air them, they have to take them off.

I'll let you know when — or if — they come to a new deal.


DISH Customers in 36 Markets Blocked by Raycom Media

DISH customers in 36 markets were blocked by Raycom Media today from accessing various local television channels. The two companies had been negotiating a new retransmission agreement, and the previous agreement expired at midnight.

"We are ready to listen to a fair proposal from Raycom to bring this impasse to a swift end," said Sruta Vootukuru, DISH director of programming. "Unfortunately, the broadcaster has not been willing to pursue an agreement that would have avoided this disruption of service to our customers and Raycom viewers. DISH has offered to pay Raycom the same rates as our primary competitors; yet Raycom has stalled negotiations, refusing to accept that fair offer. DISH has negotiated hundreds of local retransmission agreements and on behalf of customers, we hope Raycom will soon agree to terms in line with market standards."

At this time, Montgomery, Ala.-based Raycom has refused DISH the legal right to carry its programming unless DISH pays more than four times what it was paying under the previous agreement.

The action affects viewers of various ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC-affiliated stations in the following markets: Cleveland, Ohio (CBS); Panama City, Fla. (Fox); Montgomery, Ala. (NBC); Knoxville, Tenn. (Fox); Savannah, Ga. (CBS); Toledo, Ohio (CBS, Fox); Columbus, Ga. (ABC); Richmond-Petersburg, Va. (NBC); Cincinnati, Ohio (Fox); Jonesboro, Ark. (ABC); Tyler-Longview, Texas (ABC); Biloxi-Gulfport, Miss. (ABC); Paducah, Ky. (CBS); Honolulu, Hawaii (CBS and NBC); Tucson, Ariz. (CBS); Shreveport, La. (CBS); Baton Rouge, La. (CBS); Charlotte, N.C. (CBS); Charleston, S.C. (CBS); Ottumwa-Kirksville, Mo. (Fox); Birmingham, Ala. (Fox); Dothan, Ala. (Fox); West Palm Beach, Fla. (Fox); Augusta, Ga. (Fox); Lubbock, Texas (NBC); Lake Charles, La. (NBC); Huntsville-Decatur, Ala. (NBC); Albany, Ga. (NBC); Louisville, Ky. (NBC); Hattiesburg-Laurel, Miss. (NBC); Wilmington, N.C. (NBC and Fox); Evansville, Ind. (NBC); Columbia, S.C. (NBC); Jackson, Miss. (NBC); Florence-Myrtle Beach, Fla. (NBC); and Memphis, Tenn. (NBC).

Also affected are various CW and MyNetworkTV channels in five markets: Baton Rouge, La.; Cleveland, Ohio; Honolulu, Hawaii; Paducah, Ky.; and Richmond-Petersburg, Va.

Last year, broadcasting companies across the country blacked out 91 markets on various pay-TV companies at various times; and an industry watchdog group, the American Television Alliance, has called for the U.S. Congress to "revamp the out-of-date rules" that favor those blackouts.

Comments

Anonymous said…
"In 2012, the investment analysis and commentary site 24/7 Wall St. named Dish Network #1 among 'America's Worst Companies To Work For', an assessment based upon employee reviews at the employment website Glassdoor.com."

DISH Network also has a LENGTHY history of disputes with other companies that you failed to mention. Three sides to every story of two. One side, the other side and the truth.

Gannett
Big Ten Network
Fox Sports Youth
AMC Networks
Belo Corp.
SportsNet New York
Inspiration Network
Heritage Broadcasting Group of Michigan
Fox
The Weather Channel (seriously???)
MSG Network
CBS/Viacom
Disney/ABC/ESPN
QTN

So as you can see, DISH has gone a few rounds with EVERYONE. DISH is a company with its own demons and it's being portrayed much differently than the truth. Sure, Raycom may be hiding some things to the public, but you gotta dig into BOTH sides to draw a bigger picture.

Also, why is 14 News getting the brunt of the abuse? Raycom is the one in charge and calling the shots with DISH. 14 can't do anything and is restricted from any such negotiations with such a matter.
Jacob Newkirk said…
I won't argue that Dish has its flaws. You're right on the mark.

Where you're wrong is here: "Why is 14 News getting the brunt of the abuse?" That isn't happening here at JDTVB; I've pointed to Raycom corporate as the source of the problem, as I've pointed to Dish in the past when it could be proven they were in the wrong (see the FOX44 issue of a couple years back).

Of course, if we REALLY want to get technical, we ought to put the blame on Congress, who set up the framework that led to this ridiculousness in the first place (the 1992 Cable Act).
Tracy Flood said…
You're so RIGHT about that, Jacob. The only reason that this crap (and I mean crap) called "retransmission consent" exists in the first place is that Congress did a STUPID action by overriding the veto of (former) President George H. W. Bush (BTW, that was the only override in his term). Congress and the FCC needs to take action NOW to get rid of this stupid law! I live in Orlando, Florida, and last year our 2 Hearst stations (WESH NBC & WKCF CW) were off Bright House (TWC) for 10 days, so I felt the pain as well.
Tracy Flood said…
Yeah, Congress IS to blame, and they (and the FCC) needs to FIX THIS NOW! I live in Orlando FL and last year WESH 2 NBC and WKCF 18 CW (owned by Hearst) were off Bright House for 10 days, so I felt the pain as well. These disputes only hurt the customer; that ain't right, and we need to get rid of it for once and for all!
Hey Jake, what's the longest that one or more channels have been off a cable, satellite, or telco provider due to a retrans dispute? The longest I can recall was a few years ago when DirecTV had a dispute with Comcast, keeping Versus (now NBC Sports Network) off of DirecTV for 6 months (Hockey fans missed nearly all of Versus's regular-season NHL coverage).
Jacob Newkirk said…
I don't remember for sure, but the one you mentioned may be. I know Dish didn't pick up FOX44 for 104 days after it went on the air a couple years ago, but that's the longest I was aware of here.
OK, this may be the longest retrans dispute going: AT&T U-Verse service nationwide dropped Hallmark Channel & Hallmark Movie Channel on Sept. 1, 2010; and the dispute between AT&T & Crown Media Holdings has still not been resolved.