The Arizona independent says Dish pulled the plug, while the satellite service says the station is at fault.
Londen Media Group’s independent KAZT Phoenix (branded as AZTV), is no longer on Dish Network as of 5 p.m. on Feb. 1.
According to a Dish spokesperson, “KAZT-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. We are currently working with KAZT-TV to restore the channel to Dish customers.”
According to KAZT owner Lynn Londen, the station is not demanding a rate increase from Dish. “We are going at zero fees, asking for zero fees,” she says. “It’s a David and Goliath thing.
“We’re not a multi-billion-dollar company like Dish Network. We’re family owned, the last locally-owned TV station in Phoenix,” Londen said. “We’ve been negotiating in good faith and suddenly we’re off the air. Dish has never paid us a penny for our channel, and we are not asking them for any fees now.”
Londen said contract negotiations broke down when the station asked Dish to consider offering KAZT’s subchannel carrying MeTV on the satellite service. “This would be offered free of charge as well,” Londen said. “When they resisted that idea, we backed off and said we would continue our current deal. That’s when Dish yanked us off their network.”
KAZT’s lineup includes syndicated programming including Family Feud, Rachael Ray, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, The Goldbergs, Seinfeld, Daily Mail TV and more, along with locally produced shows including Arizona Daily Mix, Sandy & Friends and The Mike Broomhead Show. The station serves Phoenix, Prescott and outlying areas on ch. 7 over the air, on cable and on satellite providers.