KAZT-TV Prescott, Ariz (Phoenix), a locally owned and operated independent TV station, went off Dish Feb. 1.
According to station owner Lynn Londen, they were not asking for payment, just carriage, but that Dish made the decision to drop the channel.
"We've been negotiating in good faith and suddenly we're off the air," she said. "Dish has never paid a penny for our channel, and we are not asking them for any fees now."
Londen said that their negotiations had broken down when KAZT sought carriage of their MeTV digital subchannel, also free. Dish resisted, she said, leading them to "back off" the request. "That's when Dish yanked us off their network."
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Dish saw the impasse quite differently. ""KATZ-TV did not respond to DISH'S multiple attempts to negotiate continued carriage and effectively removed its station by not giving its consent for DISH to continue delivering the channel," the company said in a statement. "We are currently working with KATZ-TV to restore the channel to DISH customers."
The station signaled it was putting its negotiating shoulder to the wheel as well.
"We're working as hard as we can to persuade DISH to put us back on their network," it told viewers on its Web site. "Thank you for your continued loyalty, we greatly appreciate it."
But it also pointed out they could "ditch" Dish and sign up with DirecTV or a cable operator.