Dish Customers Lose 18 TV Stations in Fee Dispute

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Here we go again: In the latest blackout to hit the pay TV biz, Dish Network customers lost access to 18 television stations run by broadcasting group Media General at midnight Tuesday, after the parties couldn’t work out a deal.

The blackout of Media General stations on Dish comes as the satcaster on Monday reached a short-term extension in its deal with Disney, which will let it continue to carry ESPN, Disney Channel and other cablers plus ABC-owned stations in eight markets.

Dish — one of the most aggressive negotiators among big pay TV operators — had a dispute over retransmission-consent terms with Raycom Media last month. That resulted in an eight-day blackout of 53 TV stations. Separately, Time Warner Cable subs experienced a 32-day blackout of CBS-owned stations and cable nets this summer.

The previous deal between Dish and Media General was set to expire June 30; the companies extended that for 90 days but still failed to come to terms. Dish has about 14 million U.S. subscribers.

“Unfortunately, we were not able to reach a fair, market-based agreement with Dish,” Media General said in a statement. “Media General stations, until now, have never experienced a disruption of service with any pay-TV company because of a contract impasse.”

Dish attempted to reach a fair agreement “via many avenues, but Media General remains immovable in its demands,” director of programming Sruta Vootukuru said in a statement.

The satcaster claimed Media General rejected Dish’s offer of a short-term contract extension until Media General is acquired by Young Broadcasting, with which Dish has a long-term agreement in place. “They declined a contract extension, an offer from Dish to pay our competitors’ rates, and have now refused our willingness to match rates paid to other area broadcasters,” Vootukuru said.

Richmond, Va.-based Media General in June announced plans to be acquired by Young Broadcasting. The combined company would own or operate 31 network-affiliated television stations in 28 markets, reaching approximately 16.5 million (or 14%) of U.S. TV households.

According to Media General, local TV stations provide 35% of the total audience to pay-TV operators but receive only 7% of the total programming fees paid by these companies. That’s a consistent rallying cry from broadcasters seeking a bigger pile of cash cable and satellite operators.

The 18 stations blacked out on Dish are: WVTM (NBC) in Birmingham, Ala.; WKRG (CBS) in Mobile, Ala./Pensacola, Fla.; WFLA (NBC) in Tampa, Fla.; WJBF (ABC) in Augusta, Ga.; WRBL (CBS) in Columbus, Ga.; WSAV (NBC) in Savannah, Ga.; WHLT (CBS) in Hattiesburg, Miss.; WJTV (CBS) in Jackson, Miss.; WNCT (CBS) in Greenville, N.C.; WNCN (NBC) in Raleigh/Durham, N.C.; WYCW (CW) in Asheville, N.C.; WCMH (NBC) in Columbus, Ohio; WJAR (NBC) in Providence, R.I.; WCBD (NBC) in Charleston, S.C.; WBTW (CBS) in Florence/Myrtle Beach, S.C.; WSPA (CBS) in Greenville/Spartanburg, S.C.; WJHL (CBS) in Johnson City, Tenn.; and WSLS (NBC) in Roanoke/Lynchburg, Va.

SEE ALSO: CBS-Time Warner Cable Blackout Spurs D.C. Action on Retrans

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  1. Dino says:

    Still do not get nbc on channel 5 in Colorado Springs Colorado why? You guys say the dispute is over

  2. cherie evans says:

    I pay for my local stations and abc is one of them dish owes it to me or a huge break on my bill!!! If not direct TV here I come!!!

  3. B. Roznowski says:

    Shame on both parties. Greedy is becoming par for the wealthy! Normal people just don’t have a chance. I remember when companies rewarded customers & employees not stockholders. Shame on you!

  4. Cheryle Thompson says:

    I guess we will look for another provider this week.


  6. James Reynolds says:

    If I don’t have my local NBC affiliate by the time the race comes on tomorrow night I won’t have dish come Monday

    • Eric says:

      I’m canceling and going to free TV. I hate direct tv so now that I am losing my local channels, I will get another antenna.

  7. Jermaine Mathis says:

    This doesn’t make any sense….it’s said already that we are paying money to watch tv…let alone have to stand and fight for local station that we as American should have free any way….this is very crazy and ridiculous that we have to fight for station….and guess what…with the antenna that you can now but a Wal-Mart…you can pick up local and 30 more channels for free…depending on your location…And guess what…if I lose my local station…I will get rid of Dish and pick up me an antenna…And watch t.v.for free….


    Please keep NBC on Dish.I have watched the Today Show for as long as I came remember along with all the other great shows they provide.



  10. Darlene King says:

    We do not want to lose ch. 19 kytv.

  11. Why does this keep happening? We are paying good money to watch T.V. and then threaten to take channels away. So you raise the Dish bill and we get the some channels it just costs use more. Do you want to lose costumer?

  12. Alisa Van Brunt says:

    What is Dish TV doing to make sure this does not happen? What is Media General doing to insure their viewers they will be able to view their favorite programs? I am disabled and my favorite shows are all on channel 12 in Arizona. This makes me very angry! I am sure, I am not the only person that feels this way. The program’s I watch are having their premiers this week and we are just hearing about this?? Dish will not only loose business with this decision, but the public will be voicing their opinion about Media General! I will do more research and I will boycott Media General! I will post this on my Face Book page and all of my other Social Media sites. It will spread like wildfire as I am sure it already has. What compensation by both parties will be offered to those of us that will not be able to enjoy our favorite television shows?? This is ridiculous! You all make enough Money, I am appalled by both companies that you cannot come to a resolution tot resolve this issue. If Dish TV can’t resolve this I will leave Dish. I will go back to strictly local TV and not support Media General on a paid network.

  13. Sherry converse says:

    Why and how does this keep happening? So annoying! And we all keep paying good money to watch t.v.and then threaten to take channels away! Really? U no people will switch,I will be one of them. Stop screwing around!!

  14. Kathy Hattaway says:

    Why is dish network always in a dispute over channels? Look out Direct TV here comes more people to your network. I am tried of every few months you are in a dispute with networks. But then you raise the Dish bill and we get the same channels it just costs us a bigger bill. It is getting old.

  15. DAVID CREWS says:

    I can’t believe they are dropping all of our local channels and they are telling us its the local channels dropping dish.. I pay good money for my local channel’s I under contract so I’m stuck for now.. But if l lose my channels I’ll be moving my service to Direct tv.. asap

  16. Marilyn says:

    How stupid of Dish TV to drop a local channel, If I weren’t under contract I would drop it. When my contract is up I WILL never go back to Dish>

    • Breech of Contract or jut plain greed is not really the point right now. I live in a small town in Clearwater County Idaho. There are fires surrounding us, and with out our local TV Station, KXLY, we have no news. This means our local sheriff’s office has t drive hundreds of miles a day to warn people of impending evacuations. Dish is the only provider here because of the signal strength, Lives are hanging
      in he balance right now because o greed and corruption, and Dish WILL pay for any further loss of life and property. This is outrageous, and an example that Corporate America cares nothing for human life, only the money in their pockets

  17. jEANIE says:


  18. Mary says:

    I have been a dish customer for years, but if you do not restore my NBC and other channel right away, then I see no reason to stay with dish. One of my favorite programs is “Days of our Lives”
    and “Dateline.” This could really hurt this network and customers should not pay the price.

  19. Please hurry up and get channel 13 back on dish

  20. seems to me, all dish customers should be able to sue dish for breech of contract.we signed for 2yrs for certain not getting what i signed for,we have a 2yr contract and they do to.the amount of commercials is rediculous.last night we tried to watch”enough”its a 2hr movie,but they had a commercial break from 8pm to 8:05,movie till 8:12 commercial till 8:17

  21. bruce says:

    Dish Network customers lost access to 18 television stations run by broadcasting group Media General , This is getting old, that problem has been solved some time ago, now it is FOX that is trying to extort more money out of the customers.

    • Jake says:

      It comes to me that the recent blackouts of NBC, CBS, ABC and now blackout of Fox News has finally brought up a good point! No matter what political bent you come from? The public gets to see, just how they are manipulated in what or the manner of news they receive.
      First; TV broadcasters must receive a license from the federal government as preforming a civil service. In the process of fulfilling this civil service they are permitted to sell advertising. Are you with me so far?
      A. It seems the amount of advertising has gotten outrageously out of hand! We the public are subjected in the extreme; with exceptional amounts of commercial interruption of programming! (Brake out your watch and time the programming you see; with the commercials you have to put up with).
      B. The broadcasters have no restraints or reasons to hold down cost except ratings! When investigated we see as cost go’s up, a commercial is simply injected to the time frame of the programing. Also if one was to look deep enough into the contracts between the broadcasters and advertiser one would find a kickback of some sort returned to the broadcaster!
      C. Add to this the charges paid by the re- broadcasters I.E. satellite, cable, computer and so on. Now just where is all this money coming from? We the people are paying monthly anyplace from $40.00 on the low side, to $130.00 per month for the privilege of watching excessive amounts of commercial interruption! I might suggest that the government department (FCC) charged with the handing out of such license’s be looked at with a fine tooth comb. Seeking to see just how much money has changed hands; in contributions or stocks to someone’s sister-in-law, the manner in which DC works.
      D. If you do not like FOX fine, do not look at it, if you do not like CNN the same or any of the other news channels! What I am demonstrating here is you and I are being screwed.
      E. You are agree at FOX being dropped, so you change satellite providers. Read the contracts we are subjected to from say just for example; DIRECTV, a two year contract that if you become unsatisfied for whatever reason, it will cost you an arm and an leg to get out of. All I ask is you THINK! Then YELL like hell!

  22. bruce says:

    I think unless you receive your local channels with an antenna , you are paying for them, they are controlled by the network and the people that own your local broadcasting company, here in Erie,PA. one company controls more than half of the local channels , they even use the same weather program for all of their channels. so they control the local news also, we are 36 miles and a couple mountains away so an antenna wouldn’t work out here, we have to pay. I see now FOX is trying to extort more money out of us, I don’t watch FOX anyways, as far as I’m concerned , FOX could disappear for ever, they are on there, I have to pay for them and I never watch any of their content. I guess what I am trying to say is, WHY THE HECK SHOULD I HAVE TO PAY FOR THEM, take them off and reduce the price that much, what ever they save by not having them……..Of course Fox would loose about 14 million potential viewers if they did that and their advertisers would also loose that many potential customers watching their ads…………

    • karen wiggins says:

      bruce is correct, I,ve time amc broadcast of air force on, actual running tie was 84 min. of 180 min(3hrs) 96 min of fucking commercials , im cancelling dish tv and going to free broadcast tv.

  23. Rizzo says:

    I would just like to know what dish plans on doing to fix this? Im still paying the same amount but dont have as many channels……..

  24. bruce says:

    I guess if Dish gives in to their demands without question every time we will be paying a lot more to watch TV in our homes, I believe we are all ready paying to much to watch all those commercials …..

    • Rizzo says:

      Paying more? Now we’re paying and lost a bunch of channels, not just commercials. Whats even crazier is we even lost local programs which are free.

  25. Julie busch says:

    Dish has sucked for along time

  26. Jack says:

    If Dish removes my NBC,CBS,ABC, and Fox network channels that will be the last that Dish will have me for a customer. I drop them like a rock and all my friends will join me.

    • bruce says:

      +Well they are back now, you can stop crying, now let us see how much the new fees they demanded will raise our monthly bills….

  27. bruce says:

    I am sorry that it took me so long to figure this out, but Emma Causey is a paid agitator for media general, every time they go into negotiations with one of these companies they send out these comments and tell everybody to switch providers, or stop paying your bill because you lost a couple channels out of a couple hundred channels , I guess they believe that their channel is more valuable than all the other channels combined, and they do it with every company, to force them to accept the prices they are demanding, something like negative campaigning in politics, and unfortunately we fall for it, sometimes…..

  28. bruce says:

    We seem to be spending a lot of money for the privilege of watching an awful lot of commercials , I am still wondering why I have to pay for commercial TV. If I have to pay almost $100 a month, I should not have to watch all the advertisements. I turn on a program, on the hour and it is almost fifteen after, before I see the program, then you get about 10 minutes of program and they go back to commercials again for another 10 to 15 minutes, you know it seems that we are getting a series of commercials interrupted by a few minutes of program and we are paying through the nose for it….

  29. Wayne phipps says:

    I remember when TV was free I think that’s a really ridiculous but they charge now I agree with a lot of the people they should be paying the cable companies and satellite companies for broadcasting their shows and programs and advertisements when cable first come out there were no advertisements

  30. bruce says:

    seems to me, they should be paying the sat. and cable companies for distributing their programing to more viewers, without these companies they would not have near as many viewers and would not be able to charge so much for adds on their stations. I know where I live, without these companies, we would not be able to get them at all, I guess only the people who live in the cities can get free TV with an antenna. I am already paying more than I can afford to watch these channels, now they want to continue to raise the prices

    • Lee says:

      I agree. If it wasn’t for Dish I would not watch wink in the first place. I work swing shift and have to DVR everything. So now that wink blocked them out I have not seen any of my shows. So I think wink should have to pay Dish. Why should dish have to pay for something that is a free local network. Wink compared themselves to ESPN. Really ESPN. It’s not a free local network. So ESPN can charge if they want. So now I am protesting wink and will not watch anymore of there shows. You shouldn’t be aloud to charge a company for what you give out for free. I think all the commercials should sue wink because they paid full price for there slot and wink chose to block it from viewers.

  31. If dish network takes away tnt and any other channels I will cancel my subscription and go to well don’t know yet but me and my mother will no longer be with dish network and who ever else has dish network

  32. I can’t believe we pay high prices on cable and Dish can’t find a way to get our channels on, now I hear that we may lose channels 4,21,27 which I watch all court programs!

  33. Kurt says:

    It is hostile against millions of Dish Customers. I hope millions will go some place else. This is raping customer who pay every month for years.

  34. Virginia says:

    If we can’t watch 13 a local channel why would I stay with dish? I have stayed with dish through all the other changes but not this one . Member from 2008 don’t want to change.

  35. Susie LaForge says:

    First I lost CNN and now they threaten CBS, my favorite channel? Please don’t make me go back to cable.

  36. Ida Smith says:

    I have dish and watch cbs from Columbus, Ga. I have some tvs that not with dish, but with outside antenia. But now those tvs say no signal. I call Media General, they said they had lowered the signal. So I can’t get either one.

  37. Nancy from Spartanburg, SC says:

    I am a Dish customer. I am will not give them up just because they will not give in to Media General. Why am I standing with Dish? Because I understand why they are fighting so hard with Media General.
    Media General has a bank loan of $363 million and because of that they have lay off people to save $32 million. They say that they have increased 76% retransmission fees (such as DishTV and Cable companies) which made them $38 million. Media General also admitted that last years Business Model did not work. So they created a new model. Which means milking the consumer (i.e. Dish Network subscribers) for money because of their poor management.

    So when people say Dish Network is greedy they have not done their research. Dish Network is just trying to keep cost down so they do not have to increase subscription fees in the future.

  38. kim salyers says:

    i see this one person saying stuff about dish but not media general i think she needs to read more into this then blame just dish if u havent saw the news about media general bing sold and of issues nor seen or heard what the president of dish is saying then u arent informed right it is actually both but if we as a people will call both companies then maybe they will get something done soon im missing my programs over a stupid settlement which media general blocked from the veiwers cause they are so greedy this is stupid since that stupid president has been in office the usa has went down hill get real media general and dish and get these stations bc on stop being greedy

  39. andy says:

    Isn’t NBC HD Free to receive over air? Maybe I’m wrong, but I thought it was all free anyway, and Dish is just re-broadcasting to have more viewers see their free content and, more importantly, NBC’s advertising, which is where they make their money anyway. Taking eyeballs off their commercials should like this should hurt NBC. Maybe I’m missing something, but anywhooooo.

  40. Raleigh WNCN says:

    Obviously, this dispute is all about greed. Sounds like our government. The customers who are paying these fees don’t seem to be getting any consideration.

    • Emma Causey says:

      If everyone would unite and stop paying   I gaurantee dish will pay media general    I am not paying one more dime until CBS is back on   n they are going to credit my account for time lost


      • bruce says:

        Dish doesn’t pay media general the consumer pays higher media general fees, with higher monthly fees. Dish is trying to keep your monthly fees down and you call them the bad guy, I guess you just have more money than you know what to do with. When media general leaves Dish, they loose about 14 million potential viewers , the ad prices they charge their advertisers should go down after loosing that many viewers since they charge by how many potential viewers will see their ads…I think media general should pay dish for the use of the Dish equipment to distribute their programs…..

  41. Joyce Coyle says:

    Are we going to get a CBS station in Myrtle Beach area any time??? That is my main network to watch!!! We’re really missing out on new fall shows!! Considering going to Direct!!!

  42. tsimmons says:

    Need NBC 13 back on the air..

  43. t minter says:

    There are other free air stations in savannah Georgia……all this does is cut your viewership and send it to your competing networks channel 11, 28 34, and etc. Most educated viewers know that you of Media General are only attempting to market more shares of the profit which will in turnsavannah increase what we as consumers pay.

  44. Dwanda Scott says:

    Purchase a TV wifi box I got ruko then subscribe to hulu and netflix I will let my two year contract with dish run out then cancel the service. I also purchased a high powered antenna that will pick up local stations and 160+ stations. I have not missed one NBC show I like to watch HULU shows them all and for 8.99/month. Net fix 7.99/month. I pay 168/month now next year I will be paying about 20/month and only for what I want not a bunch of crap I dont even watch. Stop giving these greedy people your hard earned money. There are too many other options out there. I cant wait to tell DISH and all the other greedy providers where to go. Just wish I knew last year.

  45. Amanda Gosnell says:

    I wanted my CBS back in NC. I live in a rural area of Madison County and cannot even get channel 13 with an antenna so how would I get WSPA out of SC. I have been a customer of Dish for 15 years. I really don’t care who is at fault, Media General or Dish. This all comes down to MONEY!!!! Everyone is greedy. Again, it is the taxpayers and the consumers that suffer. Please settle ASAP, please.

    • Emma Causey says:

      I am a dish customer   I am not gonna pay them another penny until this channel is back on   dish network made millions last year   media general is asking for the fair market value    how greedy can u b


      • bruce says:

        If they payed just what ever these channels wanted, every time they decided to raise the price, we would be paying $200 a month to watch TV in our homes. The channels should be paying the sat. and cable companies for using their equipment to distribute the channels product, when they pull off of Dish, they loose about 14 million viewers. All these channels you get in your home over Dish uses Dish Network’s equipment not the channels equipment, people in the cities can get these channels for free with their antennas……..

  46. kathy says:

    When we all signed our contract it was for all local channels. ..I think we need to file suit or they let us out of contract and go back to direct tv

    • Michelle says:

      You are so right, this is a breach in contract. We should be able to leave without any penalties. Everyone effected should keep calling and complain. Demand contract relief !!!

    • Emma Causey says:

      contracts r now void    do not pay dish another penny    dish made millions last year   media general is asking for the fair market value     its all about greed   just like congress    but who is suffering?


    • Emma Causey says:

      dish network is going down    I am not paying one more penny


  47. Phyllis says:

    I think we should all turn our TV’s off and cancel our subscriptions to pay TV through whatever source be it TWC, Dish, Direct TV, etc. It is only going to get worse because of greed. Not just Dish that is forced to pay a high price – it will trickle down just like politics. We should all ban together and boycott pay TV – should never have happened in the first place. Only in America!

  48. Robert says:

    Everyone who wants to leave dish will strengthen media generals hold on the market. When their contract runs out with directv, comcast, etc they will be doing the same thing for more money. CBS, NBC, and ABC need to be pressuring media general. I could careless about wsls local news but want the national broadcast back Where i live we cannot get wsls with an antenna. They broadcast that signal for “free” so what difference does it make how much dish is paying them they should be happy they are getting paid for a “free” signal!!!

    • Emma Causey says:

      u talk like a foolish person    dish made millions last year     media general  have expenses too    do not pay dish and see how fast media general is back on 


      • bruce says:

        Let’s put all the cable and satellite companies out of business, why should they be making a profit anyways, all these companies should be non-profit companies, because according to Emma making a profit is a bad thing for a company to do these days……………why do we need them anyways, think of all the work you could get done if you weren’t sitting in front of the TV all day….

    • Emma Causey says:

      U are dillusional  dish network made millions last year   media general is only asking for the fair market value  dish network is just greedy  the same as congress 


      • Lee says:

        Really. If you don’t make a profit then you don’t have a business. If you did’t get paid you wouldn’t work. Your the one that is dillusional.

  49. kim salyers says:

    i want my channel bc its a shame that people who are disabled have to sit around missing their shows because of an agreement these 2 companies cant come to why is it that we as the people have to suffer because someone wants more money in their pocket so they can go eat at a high dollar rise restraurant give the people their tv bc and get a deal for us u can do deals with all other companys then make the deal with dish and while u are making the deal put the tv bc on shame shame shame on media general for blocking the channel 11 to the people guess they think they are better then us small people i pray that u see your ways and realize that u are hurting alot of the people in the usa get real u are just one station on the air way and u actually should had reached an agreement WAY BEFORE THE CUT OFF TIME AND STILL U DECIDED TO DRAG IT ON AND CUT THE CHANNELS OUT RICHMOND HAS LOST THEIR MIND MAYBE WE NEED TO SEE WHAT OTHER MEDIA THAT CAN CARRY THESE LOCAL CHANNELS AND GIVE IT TO DISH AND THE OTHER COMPANIES AND LET MEDIA GO BANKRUPT GET REAL GET MY PROGRAMS BC ON I AM DISABLED AN I WANT MY TV BC ITS IMPORTANT TO MY FAMILY AN I SO IF U DONT MAYBE WE NEED TO FIND ANOTHER WAY TO GET IT BESIDES MEDIA GENERAL ENOUGH SAID GET THE TV BC ON TYS KIMMIE

    • Emma Causey says:

      do u think u might be looking at this from the wrong angle    do u have any idea what dish made last year?    if u did u would change your whole tune   your money goes to dish   which one should be loyal to u?     dish or media general?    


    • Emma Causey says:

      why r u blaming media com     u pay your money to dish     and by the way do u no how much money dish made last year?  they can totally pay media com      get real and leave dish


      • kim salyers says:

        media general is the cause not dish and dont care who made millions if media general would get their heads out of there butts and stop being greedy and not block the local channels from veiwers then maybe dish would make a decent agreement but 4x the fee is a shame to be asking dish to pay when all the other companies dont pay that much so u get real u must work for media general or know someone who is the company who is rich and dont care about tv cause they pay to go watch football and other things heck with football i want my channels bc and if i have to keep dish and get an antenna to watch channel 11 i would rather then go to another company

  50. Brenda Donargo says:

    Media General as bad as The House of Rep. In some markets Media General is asking Dish to put them on air for the storm. I believe this is profit driven cause if they cared about any of us they wouldn’t use their viewers as bait. We might as well be chum in the water for sharks. It’s exactly what congress is doing to the American people. Government and corporations and greed. The reason we can’t get long distance networks is because corporations like Media General lobbied congress to not let us have distant networks so years later (now) they have companies like Dish in a bind. Well I think it should back fire just like it is on Congress. Boycott all Media General Stations ( a list can be found on They know they get more viewers watching commercials during storms and such and this will keep their stock prices up. Watch another network watch the weather channel buy a weather radio. Don’t give them the numbers.

    • Emma Causey says:

      u sound like a fool   dish made mega money from customers like me last year    CBS is asking for the fair market value    if dish cared about their customers they would pay media general   so whos being greedy


    • Emma Causey says:

      why should dish make millions of dollars from their customers and not pay media general for a popular station    dish dont care about their customers     they want all the money     u no that is not right


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