Dish Network has reached an agreement with Cordillera Communications allowing the latter to transmit on the digital TV network. This once again places KTVQ and other Montana stations as accessible to Dish TV’s 13 million subscribers.
The terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but a press release from Cordillera says there is now “a multi-year agreement with Dish for carriage of our stations.” Before this, Cordillera, which owns network-affiliated stations in mid-to small markets around the world, was warning viewers of its stations that there would be potential disruptions as a result of contract dispute. The new agreement comes after months of negotiations.
Dish dropped the channel following a dispute the over retransmission fees. The agreement deadline-d on December 31 originally, but was extended until last Thursday. The dispute involved 13 stations and 18 total TV channels, 10 of which aired in Montana.
The issue of retransmission fees is not a new one between Dish and 18 total TV channels, ten of which aired in Montana. The issue around retransmission fees is not a new one – DirecTV and Cordillera found themselves at a similar disagreement in January 2015.
Both instances saw Cordillera accused trying to use the NFL playoffs as leverage during negotiation. The latter conflict kept subscribers on Dish from watching the Saturday night AFC Wild Card game between the Pittsburg Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals. In answer to the accusation, Cordillera said their offer was a “fair, market-based” one.
Last year’s dispute started when DirecTV dropped Cordillera channels on Jan 1 before an agreement was reached on Jan 10. When the conflict stayed on as long as a week, intervention came in the form of a letter from Sen. Steve Daines.
He asked both parties to return the stations to air, for the sake of Montanans, especially rural ones, who were cut off from “local news, public affairs programming and emergency weather alerts that they have subscribed to and expect to receive.” If the blackout had lasted another day, DirecTV subscribers would have missed the AFC Divisional playoff game between Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts, where the Colts won 24-13.
Another Cordillera channel which Dish Network dropped was KSBY, and NBC affiliate that serves San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties of California.