"We have agreed to rates and all terms to carry Sinclair's local
Schlichting continued: "Sinclair rejected our extension offer and has chosen to use innocent consumers as pawns to gain leverage for the economic benefit of Sinclair, while causing substantial harm and disruption to the lives of consumers."
DISH and Sinclair had been making steady progress in their recent negotiations, and DISH was hopeful that they would come to a mutual agreement to renew carriage of the Sinclair local stations. In that spirit, DISH offered another short-term contract extension to Sinclair that would include a retroactive "true-up" when new rates were agreed upon, and would preserve the ability of DISH customers to access the Sinclair local stations while our negotiations continued. The "true-up" would ensure that Sinclair was made whole at the new rates for the period of any contract extension.
Rather than accept DISH's good faith offer, Sinclair Broadcast Group chose to begin the largest local channel blackout in the history of television, blocking DISH customers' access to 129 local channels in 79 markets, and intentionally harming and exploiting millions of innocent consumers to gain negotiating leverage for carriage of an unrelated cable channel that it hopes to acquire but does not own today.
"Since we offered to retroactively true them up when new rates were
agreed upon, Sinclair had nothing to lose and consumers had everything
to gain from an extension of our existing contract that would allow
negotiations to continue," said
DISH Re-ignites Call for
DISH filed a complaint with the
The formal complaint can be read here: http://about.dish.com/document-library/verified-retransmission-complaint-dish-network-llc-against-sinclair
DISH intends to amend the complaint to include allegations stemming from Sinclair's decision to blackout local channels to millions of innocent consumers to gain negotiating leverage for carriage of an unrelated cable channel that it hopes to acquire but does not own today.
"Sinclair is holding consumers hostage in order to force our hand in
unrelated negotiations regarding a cable channel that Sinclair hopes to
acquire but does not own today," added Dodge. "We've asked for swift
action from the
DISH extended its contract with 23 local non-Sinclair controlled stations for which Sinclair had been attempting to negotiate.
"We appreciate that we have mutually created time to try to find the right path to serve consumers for these 23 stations, but we hoped Sinclair would have chosen that same path," added Schlichting.
Broadcaster Blackouts Punish Consumers
"Sinclair's decision to cut ties with DISH customers is a prime example
DISH has appeared on behalf of pay-TV consumers before the
"Broadcasters like Sinclair are blacking out content, effectively forcing consumers to switch to other pay-TV providers - providers that may soon face a blackout due to their own set of unreasonable broadcaster demands," added Dodge. "The system treats viewers as negotiating chips instead of consumers."
Rising Retransmission Rates
Each year, the cost to carry local broadcast stations rises far beyond
the rate of inflation, leading to blackouts across the country that
affect millions of subscribers of various pay-TV companies. According to
Along with other pay-TV companies and public interest groups that form
DISH customers can visit DISHPromise.com
for more information and to ask
Sinclair's action affects viewers of various
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