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Dish Files FCC Complaint Against TV Station Owner Tegna

'Tegna turned its back on its public interest obligation and failed to engage in good faith retransmission consent negotiations,' Dish says.
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Dish Network  (DISH) - Get DISH Network Corporation Class A Report filed a complaint against Tegna  (TGNA) - Get TEGNA, Inc. Report with the Federal Communications Commission Monday.

Media-telecommunications heavyweight Dish claimed the TV station owner broke FCC rules in negotiating terms of carriage for its stations.

Earlier this month, Tegna took its local stations off transmission for about 3 million Dish TV subscribers across the country, Dish said.

"Tegna turned its back on its public interest obligation and failed to engage in good faith retransmission consent negotiations with Dish," Andy LeCuyer, DISH senior vice president of programming said in a statement.

"Tegna's demands were both unreasonable and inconsistent. This behavior negatively impacts Dish subscribers, and we expect Tegna's bad behavior to only get worse as the programmer looks to sell its stations to the highest bidder.

The accused begs to differ, of course. “Dish's complaint is utterly baseless and without merit," Tegna said in a statement. 

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"Tegna welcomes a chance for the FCC to review DISH’s conduct over the course of this negotiation. 

"Perhaps a close examination of DISH’s conduct will cause them to come to the table to negotiate free from their consistently unproductive tactics and public misrepresentations.

“The unfortunate reality is that DISH dropped more than 230 channels last year alone and is now repeating that pattern by refusing to reach an agreement with Tegan."

Dish’s complaint didn’t appear to affect the companies’ stock prices much. 

Dish stock on Monday closed 0.2% higher at $43.38, and Tegna finished the session 0.8% higher at $19.80.

Last month, investment firm Standard General disclosed that it increased its holding in Tegna to 9.8%.