Media General Fights Dish Retrans Charges

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.”

In October, Dish Network asked the FCC to intervene in its retransmission consent dispute with Media General, saying the broadcaster had failed to negotiate in good faith. The impasse affected Media General stations in 17 markets that had been dark on the satellite service since Oct. 1.

In a filing yesterday, Media General asked the commission to dismiss the complaint and put the blame on Dish for the dispute, saying the satcaster “has a long history of abusive litigation tactics. In this case, Dish has chosen to manufacture a crisis rather than make the hard compromises necessary to reach a deal.”

In addition, it wants the FCC to “refer Dish to the Enforcement Bureau for consideration of the appropriate actions for Dish’s abuse of the commission’s processes and for its misrepresentations to and lack of candor before the commission.”

Media General also claims that the complaint “is a frivolous pleading based entirely on knowingly, willfully and maliciously false accusations that are easily disproven with references to correspondence authored by Dish’s own negotiators.”

“Rather than doing the hard work of hammering out a deal, Media General charges that “Dish has postured and played the character of a ‘tough’ negotiator while apparently plotting its litigation strategy. Dish’s brinkmanship and preference for getting government help with problems it could more easily solve itself are the reasons Dish has been responsible for a vastly disproportionate share of broadcast TV blackouts. And Dish’s misconduct in this matter is the sole reason that its subscribers in Media General’s markets are deprived of service from Media General’s stations today.”

The filing then goes on to set out “paragraph-by-paragraph answers to enumerated allegations in Dish’s complaint.”

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Read Media General’s filing here.


Comments (5)

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alicia farmer says:

November 15, 2013 at 10:26 am

Me thinks thou protest too much.


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