DISH Reignites FCC Complaint Against Sinclair, Calls for Immediate Action to Protect Millions of Innocent Consumers from Sinclair's Unlawful Negotiating Tactics
DISH introduces new facts to assert Sinclair is violating FCC good
faith negotiation requirements mandated by Congress
DISH confirms that Sinclair launches largest channel blackout in
DISH has agreed to all rates and other terms needed to carry
Sinclair local stations
Sinclair attempting to gain negotiating leverage for carriage of
unrelated cable channel that Sinclair hopes to acquire but does not
DISH requests that the FCC grant preliminary injunctive relief to
DISH Network L.L.C. renewed a formal complaint with the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) accusing Sinclair Broadcasting of
failing to negotiate in good faith as called for by Congress. DISH
accuses Sinclair of orchestrating the largest blackout in U.S.
television history as a means to force DISH to carry a cable channel
Sinclair hopes to acquire, but does not even own today.
On Tuesday afternoon, Sinclair blacked out DISH customer access to 129
stations serving 79 markets in 36 states and the District of Columbia as
a contract extension between the two parties expired.
"We are calling on the FCC to intervene in Sinclair's senseless blackout
that needlessly punishes consumers despite an agreement on rates and all
other terms for Sinclair's local stations," said Jeff Blum, DISH senior
vice president and deputy general counsel. "Sinclair rejected every
opportunity to serve viewers including our extension offer, which
featured a full true-up, and has instead chosen to use innocent
consumers as pawns to gain leverage for a cable channel it hopes to
acquire but does not own today."
Per DISH's amended complaint, Sinclair has demanded that, as a condition
to signing the retransmission agreement, DISH agree to terms and
conditions for future carriage of a cable network that Sinclair hopes to
acquire, but does not own today. DISH is contending that by forcing
bundling, Sinclair's unilateral bargaining is a per se violation
of the Commission's good faith rules and is a violation of U.S.
Amended formal complaint can be read here:
DISH is asking the FCC to immediately grant preliminary injunctive
relief while the Commission considers the amended complaint, and to
require Sinclair to negotiate in good faith.
DISH had first filed the Verified Retransmission Complaint August 15
originally asserting, among other things, that in direct violation of
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules mandated by the STELA
Reauthorization Act of 2014 (STELAR), Sinclair had refused to negotiate
with DISH for retransmission consent for Sinclair's stations unless DISH
also agreed to allow Sinclair to negotiate for 32 stations that Sinclair
does not control and are in the same markets as Sinclair stations.
DISH also originally charged that in violation of FCC regulation,
Sinclair has assumed a unilateral stance to its negotiations, including
the refusal of a contract extension so the parties can explore
alternative paths toward an agreement.
DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ: DISH), through its subsidiaries, provides
approximately 13.932 million pay-TV subscribers, as of June 30, 2015,
with the highest-quality programming and technology with the most
choices at the best value. Subscribers enjoy a high definition line-up
with more than 200 national HD channels, the most international
channels, and award-winning HD and DVR technology. DISH Network
Corporation is a Fortune 250 company. Visit www.dish.com.
View source version on businesswire.com: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20150826005424/en/
DISH Network L.L.C.
John Hall, 720-514-5351
Source: DISH Network L.L.C.
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