CBS started alerting viewers Friday night that Dish Network could pluck out the Eye in certain markets, in the latest dispute to hit the pay-TV biz. “Attention, Dish customers! You could soon lose CBS,” the broadcaster’s spots said. Over all, there are 14 CBS-owned stations covered under Dish agreement, plus seven CW, two My Network TV and three independent stations. CBS’s contract with Dish is set to expire Nov. 20. In addition, Showtime and CBS Sports Network could be affected on Dish if the companies fail to reach an agreement.
WNWO, Sinclair Broadcast Group’s NBC affiliate in Toledo Ohio, ordered Buckeye CableSystem to remove its signal from Buckeye’s carriage after the existing retransmission consent contract between the two expired.
The broadcaster, whose stations have been off the satellite service since Oct. 1, tells the FCC that taking the Dish complaint contains false statements and granting it “would be the worst possible outcome for Dish customers and Media General viewers across the country.” And it asks the FCC to consider “appropriate actions for Dish’s abuse of the commission’s processes and for its misrepresentations to and lack of candor before the commission.”
Dish Network subscribers won’t be able watch Grant Communications’ four Fox, two CW and one MNT affiliates until the two settle their dispute over retransmission fees.
DirecTV accused Sinclair Broadcast Group of attempting to “frighten” subscribers in 47 markets with its threat to pull 87 stations that carry programming from Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC and other networks unless it agrees to pay increased retransmission consent fees.
Cox cable customers who tried to tune in to the Raycom-owned Tucson, Ariz., CBS affiliate Tuesday found the station was off the cable system. Cox and KOLD parent Raycom were unable to reach an agreement on a retransmission contract by Dec. 31, and Cox cut off the station, KOLD General Manager Debbie Bush said. “We will continue to negotiate as long as Cox will negotiate with us,” she said.
Fox is attempting to negotiate a new retransmission consent and cable carriage agreement with mid-size regional cable operator Service Electric Cablevision. The current agreement affects about 100,000 subs located in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pa., and Philadelphia DMAs (54 and 4, respectively). While negotiations are ongoing and Fox’s current agreement does not expire until midnight, Jan. 1, Fox said it felt it was necessary to let Service Electric subscribers know that a service interruption is possible. Its marketing efforts include on-air messages during programming, animated Web ads and a website (www.keepmyfoxnets.com).
Unable to reach a new retrans deal, American Spirit Media had Buckeye CableSystem take its Fox and CBS affiliates off the cable system’s lineup yesterday.
DirecTV could lose the right to carry Gannett’s 23 TV stations on Dec. 1 unless the two sides reach a new programming pact by then. The current retransmission consent agreement between the two companies expires at midnight on Friday. Stations affected include several in large cities including Washington, Atlanta and Denver.
Long-term TV viewers and marketers may seek out more digital alternatives when it comes to multi-TV network provider blackouts. They may also force the FCC to take action, according to media agency TargetCast.