ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Oct. 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The following is a news release from DISH: Tegna Inc. today removed its local stations from nearly 3 million DISH TV customers in 53 markets across the country. The programmer is using customers as negotiation leverage, demanding a massive fee increase to nearly a billion dollars and holding viewers hostage during football season.
“We made a fair offer to keep Tegna stations available to our customers, but Tegna rejected it, forcing the removal of its channels,” said Brian Neylon, group president, DISH TV. “Tegna is looking to sell its stations to the highest bidder and is simply trying to exploit DISH customers as a way to get the maximum price and further fatten their wallets.”
“Tegna is demanding we pay for 100% of our subscribers in their markets, regardless of whether these subscribers receive or want Tegna’s programming,” added Neylon. “As one of the nation’s largest local station owners, they are more interested in increasing their bottom line by charging our customers more money than providing programming to viewers under fair terms.”
In the early 2000’s, broadcasters like Tegna began charging cable and satellite companies to deliver their “free” local station signals to the public. This new revenue stream for broadcasters totaled a few million dollars in 2006, but has grown to over $12 billion dollars today. Free local programming has effectively become a multi-billion-dollar industry for broadcasters and a tax on American consumers. And now, Tegna is trying to raise this tax.
“We apologize to our customers and we’re deeply disappointed in Tegna’s decision to remove its channels from DISH in an effort to try and force an unjustifiable fee increase that directly impacts our customers,” said Neylon. “We can’t sit by and accept Tegna’s unreasonable demands. We will continue fighting on behalf of our customers to come to a fair deal that is beneficial for all.”
Tegna’s action affects viewers of various ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CW, MNT and TDO stations in 53 markets nationwide. For a full list of affected stations, click here.
DISH customers can visit DISHPromise.com for more information.