MONEY & BUSINESS: Dish Network customers lose local channels in Hearst dispute
Dish Network said Friday Hearst Television removed customers’ access to 37 local channels in 27 markets after failing to reach an agreement for distribution.
The company said it had been in talks with Hearst for months to reach an agreement to keep its channels on air.
“Hearst is demanding tens of millions of dollars in rate increases that would affect customers,” Dish said, adding that Hearst expects Dish and its customers to foot the bill.
In a message to Dish subscribers, Hearst Television said, “We have made significant investments to deliver top-tier programming to our viewers and Dish is seeking the right to carry our stations at below market rates, which is neither fair nor reasonable.”
It added that users may continue to receive its station for free, over the air, or by other satellite distribution, and, where available, from cable operators.
Dish’s executive vice president Gary Schanman said, “Demanding higher rates for the same entertainment and news just doesn’t make sense, especially as Hearst’s content is widely available on other platforms.”
Dish said the move affects viewers of ABC and NBC, among other channels.