Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dish-Sinclair scrap could cut 2 stations from subscribers - Pittsburgh Business Times (blog)

Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH) and Sinclair Broadcast Group (Nasdaq: SBGI) are in the middle of a scrap over retransmission consent, the fee that Dish Network pays Sinclair for the use of its signal.

Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH) and Sinclair Broadcast Group (Nasdaq: SBGI) are in the middle of a scrap over retransmission consent, the fee that Dish Network pays Sinclair for the use of its signal.

Web Producer- Pittsburgh Business Times
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The battle between Dish Network and Sinclair Broadcast Group over rights fees could lead to subscribers losing "So You Think You Can Dance" and other Fox and MyNetwork TV programming in the Pittsburgh region after midnight Wednesday.

Sinclair Broadcasting owns WPGH Fox 53 and WPMY MyTV22 in the Pittsburgh region. Both stations -- and about 70 others around the country owned by Sinclair -- are enmeshed the battle that threatens to take both stations off Dish. The fight is over the amount of money Dish pays Sinclair to carry the stations.

Dish subscribers are being told by Sinclair (Nasdaq: SBGI) that as of 12:01 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 16, "this station no longer expects to be carried by the Dish Network," according to notification on both stations' websites. It suggests viewers "make alternative arrangements" to see the programming.

"Although Sinclair is continuing to negotiate with Dish over the terms of a new agreement, Sinclair believes significant doubt exists as to whether or not a new agreement will be reached with Dish," Sinclair said in a statement earlier this week.

For its part, Dish (Nasdaq: DISH) said Sinclair is demanding "a massive price increase" in the negotiations.

"Sinclair is asking for more than any other station anywhere in the country. This goes beyond pure corporate greed -- it's profoundly insensitive to the needs of the public," Dish senior vice president of programming Dave Shull said in a prepared statement.

Paul J. Gough is the web producer at the Pittsburgh Business Times, and he covers media. Contact him at pgough@bizjournals.com or (412) 208-3827. You can also follow him on Twitter.

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