Over the weekend, local stations in 42 markets owned by Scripps were dropped by DISH when the two companies failed to come to an agreement on a carriage deal.
Unsurprisingly, both Scripps and DISH are pointing the finger at the other when it comes to why a deal couldn’t be made to keep the channels live.
“Without an agreement in place, DISH subscribers are now missing out on our stations’ essential news, weather and entertainment programming,” said Brian Lawlor, president of Local Media for Scripps. “DISH’s refusal to negotiate to a fair agreement is preventing its customers from accessing pressing news during a global pandemic, a period of social unrest, an active political year and severe weather season for many parts of our country.
“Our impasse, after five months of discussions, is not about the rates DISH pays us but their inability to agree on other distribution terms,” Lawlor continued. “We hope DISH will recognize the importance of our programming to its customers and our viewers and help us to resolve this dispute.”
DISH came back with a statement, saying the company offered multiple extensions that were dismissed by Scripps.
“While the nation faces the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and Hurricane Hanna makes landfall, viewers need access to their local news and programming. On behalf of customers, we ask Scripps to stop punishing its own viewers so we can focus on reaching a fair deal,” Andy LeCuyer, DISH programming SVP, said in a statement.
This blackout follows the loss of 10 Cox Media stations on DISH last week.
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Jess Barnes attended Edinboro University and spent years working in nonprofit before taking up freelance writing in 2012. Jess has been working for Cord Cutters News since 2017.