DISH (NASDAQ: 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).