On Saturday evening, Dish subscribers lost access to TV stations in 10 markets acquired last year by Apollo Global Management’s Terrier Media from Northwest Broadcasting (NBI Holdings).
The blackout is the result of failed carriage contract renegotiations between the two parties.
Over the weekend, Dish offered to extend its current retransmission agreement, with payment, until after the Super Bowl, but Apollo rejected the offer.
Dish accused Apollo of extending the negotiations through this past weekend in order to impact its subscribers’ access through Dish to Sunday’s NFL conference championship games. Dish reminded affected subscribers that they could view the games via some streaming services or antenna.
Dish — which has stated that Apollo “has been demanding nearly double its current rate to carry its stations” — is also concerned that Apollo might attempt to black out the 14 stations it also acquired from Cox Enterprises last year.
Dish says it signed a multi-year agreement with Cox last year, and has gotten a temporary restraining order that should prevent a blackout for those stations, reports Broadcasting + Cable.
Apollo, for its part, maintains that it has negotiated in good faith.
Dish is demanding the right to transmit Cox’s stations at “well below current market rates and on terms that no other video provider has demanded,” according to a generic message posted on Cox Media Group’s Syracuse station by the group’s president, Kim Guthrie.
Cox “has made significant investments in people, programming, and equipment, to make [its stations] best in class. We are simply seeking a fair agreement with Dish to carry these channels. Dish already pays much more for national networks like ESPN, even though far fewer people watch ESPN than any of our local stations” and “ESPN and the other national networks Dish favors have no local news, have no local employees, and offer nowhere near the same high-quality, compelling programming that our stations provide to their local communities.”