Sinclair Warns Of Dish Carriage Dispute

Sinclair Broadcast Group, the largest group of independent TV stations, is giving some fair warning about upcoming carriage negotiations with TV satellite provider Dish Network: Things are not going so well.

Sinclair's retrans deal with Dish is due to expire on August 15.

In a release, Sinclair says: "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."

In response, Dish issued a press release saying Sinclair is seeking unfair price hikes:

“We carry more than 1,800 local broadcast stations nationwide. Sinclair is asking for more than any other station anywhere in the country,” said Dave Shull, senior vp of programming for Dish Network. “This goes beyond pure corporate greed -- it’s profoundly insensitive to the needs of the public.”



Carriage disputes -- and subsequent blackouts of TV stations and cable networks -- have been a more frequent occurrence. Analysts expect many more to occur.

Dish has had an ongoing dispute with AMC Networks, including AMC, WE tv, IFC and Sundance Channel, which has been off the air since July 1. In a recent earnings release, AMC said the ongoing dispute with Dish could have a material effect on business. Dish Network is in some 14 million TV homes.

Sinclair owns or operates 74 TV stations in 45 markets, and with a new addition of Newport TV stations -- coming from a preliminary agreement -- those numbers will climb to 82 stations in 47 markets covering 27.3% of U.S. TV homes.




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