Dish Asks Lockwood to Restore Channel for Super Bowl

Asks for temporary reprieve in retrans battle for Oklahoma customers
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Dish Network has requested that Lockwood Broadcasting lower its gloves in the companies’ ongoing retransmission consent battle, temporarily restoring its NBC affiliate (KTEN-TV) in Sherman, Okla., so customers there can watch the Super Bowl this Sunday.

Lockwood’s stations in four states went dark to Dish customers on Jan. 23 after their earlier retrans deal expired. Lockwood owns stations in Wichita, Kan. (ABC affiliate KAKE-TV; Florence, Ala., (CW affiliate WHDF-TV); and Lexington, N.C. (CW affiliate WCWG-TV; but its only NBC station is in Oklahoma.

“We’re asking Lockwood to put its viewers first this Sunday and give them access to the most-watched game of the year,” Dish senior vide president of programming Andy LeCuyer said in a statement. “Our goal all along has been to get to a fair deal for customers, but with Lockwood pushing this blackout up against the Super Bowl, it’s time for them to do what is right for consumers.”

Dish said it is currently awaiting Lockwood Broadcasting’s response to its request.

On its website, KTEN-TV said as of Jan. 29 it had made little progress in negotiations with Dish, adding that the satellite company was still insisting on “terms and conditions that are unfavorable to us while only offering to pay us far less than what all our other distributors do. In other words, it’s lose-lose for us.”

The station urged Dish customers to find alternatives to view the Super Bowl on Feb. 4 as well as the Winter Olympics, starting Feb. 8, adding that it is still available over the air and through DirecTV and other local cable operators.

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