Hearst Stations Could Go Dark on Dish

Broadcaster says 33 stations could be pulled if deal not reached by March 1
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About a month after its 33 television stations went dark to AT&T U-verse and DirecTV customers for seven days in January, Hearst Television says the same fate may befall customers of No. 2 satellite TV company Dish Network.

Hearst resolved its dispute with AT&T on Jan. 8 after its stations went dark on midnight on Jan. 1. For Dish, the broadcaster is warning that its stations could go dark if a retransmission consent deal isn’t reached by March 1. News of the potential blackout was first reported by Fierce Cable.

In a statement, Dish said it is working toward a resolution to avoid a blackout and that it has negotiated hundreds of retrans deals over the past months with no problems. 

The dispute appears to be over money. Hearst TV owns stations in 26 markets across the country that it says reach about 21 million TV households. Those markets include Boston (ABC affiliate WCVB); Pittsburgh (ABC affiliate WTAE); New Orleans (NBC affiliate WDSU); Baltimore (NBC affiliate WBAL); Louisville, Ky. (CBS affiliate WLKY); and Orlando, Fla. (NBC affiliate WESH).

For the full story go to Multichannel.com.

(Photo via Dave L.'s FlickrImage taken on Feb. 6, 2017 and used per Creative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 3x4 aspect ratio.)

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