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ENGLEWOOD, Colo., August 1, 2013-- Despite steady efforts by DISH to negotiate a new deal with Raycom Media, DISH customers in Tyler-Longview, Texas, learned this morning that Raycom has blocked access to its ABC-affiliated channels (KLTV Texas News Now Channel 7 and KTRE East Texas News Channel 9) unless DISH agrees to pay a massive price increase. DISH (NASDAQ: DISH) has offered to pay the same rates as its primary competitors for the same programming, but Raycom still refuses to sign a contract.
“We are ready to listen to a fair proposal from Raycom to bring this impasse to a swift end,” said Sruta Vootukuru, DISH director of programming. “Unfortunately, the broadcaster has not been willing to pursue an agreement that would have avoided this disruption of service to our customers and Raycom viewers. DISH has offered to pay Raycom the same rates as our primary competitors; yet Raycom has stalled negotiations, refusing to accept that fair offer. DISH has negotiated hundreds of local retransmission agreements and on behalf of customers, we hope Raycom will soon agree to terms in line with market standards.”
Montgomery, Ala.-based broadcaster Raycom Media blocked DISH customers in 36 markets (including Tyler-Longview) from accessing various local television channels. At this time, Raycom has refused DISH the legal right to carry its programming unless DISH pays more than four times what it pays now.
The action affects viewers of various ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC-affiliated stations in the following markets: Cleveland, Ohio (CBS); Panama City, Fla. (Fox); Montgomery, Ala. (NBC); Knoxville, Tenn. (Fox); Savannah, Ga. (CBS); Toledo, Ohio (CBS, Fox); Columbus, Ga. (ABC); Richmond-Petersburg, Va. (NBC); Cincinnati, Ohio (Fox); Jonesboro, Ark. (ABC); Tyler-Longview, Texas (ABC); Biloxi-Gulfport, Miss. (ABC); Paducah, Ky. (CBS); Honolulu, Hawaii (CBS and NBC); Tucson, Ariz. (CBS); Shreveport, La. (CBS); Baton Rouge, La. (CBS); Charlotte, N.C. (CBS); Charleston, S.C. (CBS); Ottumwa-Kirksville, Mo. (Fox); Birmingham, Ala. (Fox); Dothan, Ala. (Fox); West Palm Beach, Fla. (Fox); Augusta, Ga. (Fox); Lubbock, Texas (NBC); Lake Charles, La. (NBC); Huntsville-Decatur, Ala. (NBC); Albany, Ga. (NBC); Louisville, Ky. (NBC); Hattiesburg-Laurel, Miss. (NBC); Wilmington, N.C. (NBC and Fox); Evansville, Ind. (NBC); Columbia, S.C. (NBC); Jackson, Miss. (NBC); Florence-Myrtle Beach, Fla. (NBC); and Memphis, Tenn. (NBC).
Also affected are various CW and MyNetworkTV channels in five markets: Baton Rouge, La.; Cleveland, Ohio; Honolulu, Hawaii; Paducah, Ky.; and Richmond-Petersburg, Va.
Last year, broadcasting companies across the country blacked out 91 markets on various pay-TV companies at various times; and an industry watchdog group, the American Television Alliance, has called for the U.S. Congress to “revamp the out-of-date rules” that favor those blackouts.
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