Dish Could See Largest TV Station Blackout in History

Nexstar Media Group is threatening to pull its channels from Dish, taking away customer access to 164 local channels in 120 markets across 42 states. Dish claims that Nexstar is “trying to use its market power to demand unreasonable rate increases while intentionally using millions of Americans as pawns in their negotiations.”

Nexstar is currently the largest local station owner. With control over more stations than any other broadcaster, the company has been raising its rates, resulting in TV providers passing those increases on to customers. Nexstar is asking Dish to pay over $1 billion in fees for their television channels.

“Since becoming the nation’s largest local station owner, Nexstar has increased its annual revenue by $1 billion a year. Now, it has set its sights on DISH customers as their next big payday,” said Brian Neylon, Group President, Dish TV. “Nexstar is demanding more than $1 billion in fees for its television channels. This shocking increase is the highest we’ve ever seen. Nexstar is intentionally turning its back on its public interest obligation and instead demanding consumers pay significantly more for the channels they could receive for free over-the-air.”

“We can’t cave in to their greedy demands,” Dish wrote in a statement to customers, urging them to contact to Nexstar to ask them to keep their local channels on Dish.

Dish customers can visit the Dish Promise website to see if their locals will be affected.