- Hearst pushes unreasonable demands
- Hearst blacks out channels to create negotiation leverage
ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Sept. 8, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite DISH Network's efforts to negotiate in good faith, Hearst Television, Inc. has forced a channel blackout on DISH TV removing customers' access to 37 local channels in 27 markets. DISH has been in discussions with Hearst for months working to reach an agreement to keep its channels on air for customers. Instead, Hearst is demanding tens of millions of dollars in rate increases that would affect customers, while it devalues its product by making programming available elsewhere, even as viewership declines.
"Hearst continues to raise its prices despite its declining viewership and lower-quality content," said Gary Schanman, executive vice president and group president, video services, DISH Network. "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. This hurts our customers in their pocketbooks and their ability to watch the programming and content they want. Unfortunately, Hearst, like many other programmers, expects DISH and our customers to foot the bill."
Hearst's unreasonable demands for its current channels and programming on DISH, along with declining viewership and sharing its content on other platforms, further demonstrates the disconnect between programming providers and distributors. Other recent examples of programmers using the same anti-consumer tactics are Nexstar with DirecTV and Disney with Charter.
"It's a broken system. As programmers continue to hold distributors hostage, customers will end up being impacted the most. We'll continue to negotiate for a fair deal to provide the best value for our customers," added Schanman. "Hearst is an important long-term partner for us, and we hope they'll come to a reasonable agreement and restore their channels for our customers as quickly as possible."
Hearst's action affects viewers of various ABC, NBC, CBS, CW, MNT and IND channels across 27 markets.
Channels impacted by Hearst's blackout include: Alburquerque, NM (KOAT), Baltimore, MD (WBAL), Birmingham, AL (WVTM), Boston, MA (WCVB & WMUR), Burlington, VT (WNNE & WPTZ),Cincinnati, OH (WLWT), Des Moines, IA (KCCI), Fort Myers, FL (WBBH), Fort Smith, AR (KHBS & KHBSD & KHOG), Greensboro, NC (WCWG & WXII), Greenville, SC (WYFF), Harrisburg, PA (WGAL), Jackson, MS (WAPT), Kansas City, MO (KCWE & KMBC), Louisville, KY (WLKY), Milwaukee, WI (WISN), Monterey, CA (KSBW & KSBWD), New Orleans, LA (WDSU), Oklahoma City, OK (KOCO), Omaha, NE (KETV), Orlando, FL (WESH & WKCF), Pittsburgh, PA (WTAE), Portland, ME (WMTW & WPXT), Sacramento, CA (KCRA & KQCA), Savannah, GA (WJCL), Tampa, FL (WMOR), West Palm Beach, FL (WPBF).
DISH customers can visit DISHPromise.com for more information.
DISH Network Corporation is a connectivity company. Since 1980, it has served as a disruptive force, driving innovation and value on behalf of consumers. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides television entertainment and award-winning technology to millions of customers with its satellite DISH TV and streaming SLING TV services. In 2020, the company became a nationwide U.S. wireless carrier through the acquisition of Boost Mobile. DISH continues to innovate in wireless, building the nation's first virtualized, O-RAN 5G broadband network. DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH) is a Fortune 200 company.
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SOURCE DISH Network Corporation