Gannett, Dish Settle Retrans Dispute
With the Gannett station group holding ample leverage with its slew of NBC stations in a carriage-fee dispute with Dish Network, word of an agreement began topping the Web
pages of Gannett stations Monday. The settlement avoids a prolonged blackout -- and Dish customer frustration in losing access to programs such as “Sunday Night Football” in markets
such as Atlanta, Cleveland and Minneapolis.
Also, several CBS and ABC affiliates were involved in the deal. Reports said that Gannett was asking Dish to drop its AutoHop automatic-commercial-skipping service in exchange for a deal, but TVNewsCheck cited a Gannett source as saying that was untrue.
AutoHop could cost Gannett some ad dollars, as it could knock out prime-time commercials the station group sells. But the major networks are continuing to pursue legal action that could shut down the service, which would benefit Gannett.
Frustrated at retrans consent deals, Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen has told Congress local stations are a government-backed monopoly.
Dish continues to be in a dispute with the AMC Networks, which might have "Walking Dead" on AMC unavailable to its customer base.