KSNB-TV and KOLN/KGIN-TV, the local NBC and CBS affiliates on channel 4 and 10/11, announced that Dish Network has decided to stop carrying their programming. Reports say that Dish Network stopped carrying the programming since January 17.
“We are disappointed to learn that Dish Network has decided to impose yet another blackout on its customers by taking away our Nebraska stations, which broadcast important local news & information – in addition to some of the most highly rated programming on any broadcast or cable channel in this market,” said Susan Ramsett, the stations’ Vice-President and General Manager.
Gray television, which is the parent company of these stations, owns the number one or number two ranked stations in more than fifty markets. In many of the markets, including Lincoln-Hastings-Kearney, Gray TV stations have much higher ratings than any other broadcast station or cable channels combined.
Despite of the popularity of the stations from Gray, Dish Network refused to even start the negotiations on carriage terms that are consistent with the carriage fee that Dish offers other cable channels and broadcasters. Insiders say that Gray television offered Dish Network an extension on the carriage that would continue beyond the deadlines, but Dish turned down the offer from Gray TV.
Unfortunately, no one can force the satellite TV provider to continue carrying the stations, as they are taking leading stations off the Dish Network channel list citing carriage negotiation failures. Considering all these points, it is not likely that the blackout will end soon, and those Dish Network users, who wish to watch programming from these stations, will need to make use of some other alternatives to watch the stations.
Gray television has made long terms agreements with many other satellite and cable distributors, without any disruptions or public statements on contract negotiations. However, Gray TV representative told that in the last two years, Dish has dropped more than two hundred local television stations on carriage negotiations.
“It is unfortunate that Dish does not see the same value in our programming as every other cable and satellite operator has. Regardless, we will continue to offer the same high quality local news, network and syndicated programming, and continue to serve our communities as we have done for decades,” Ramsett said.