More Carriage Turmoil: Hearst Pulls 37 Local Channels From Dish

Pay-TV distribution clashes continue.

On Friday, Hearst Television pulled 37 of its local network affiliates in 27 markets off Dish, removing access to ABC, NBC and other channels for Dish subscribers in those markets.

With the college and NFL football seasons now underway, two other blackouts resulting from impasses in carriage distribution renewal negotiations are already ongoing: Disney’s removal of ESPN, ABC and more than 20 other channels from Charter’s Spectrum service, and Nextstar’s removal of more than 200 network affiliates from DirecTV.

"Hearst is demanding tens of millions of dollars in rate increases that would affect customers," Dish said in a statement — adding, in words similar to Charter’s, that the relationship between programmers an operators is a “broken system” that will negatively impact subscribers as long a programmers “continue to hold distributors hostage.”



"Demanding higher rates for the same entertainment and news just doesn't make sense, especially as Hearst's content is widely available on other platforms,” said Gary Schanman,  executive vice president at Dish. However, Dish will “continue to negotiate for a fair deal to provide the best value for our customers," he said. "Hearst is an important long-term partner for us, and we hope they'll come to a reasonable agreement and restore their channels for our customers as quickly as possible."

"We have made significant investments to deliver top tier programming to our viewers and Dish is seeking the right to carry our stations at below market rates, which is neither fair nor reasonable,” Hearst Television said in a message to subscribers.

“To be clear, we have not 'blacked out' our station,” Hearst added. “You may continue to receive our station for free, over the air, or by other satellite distribution, and, where available, from cable operators."

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