Cox Media Demands Dish Retract 'False Claims' About Blackout

Cox Media Group's logo as of 2020
(Image credit: Cox Media Group)

Cox Media Group said it sent a cease-and-desist letter to Dish Network demanding the satellite-TV provider retract numerous “false claims” it says are designed to mislead customers about the dispute that resulted in a blackout of Cox’s stations to Dish subscribers this week.

“That fact is, we asked Dish for an extension of our prior contract both in writing and verbally on several different occasions,“ CMG president and CEO Daniel York said. “CMG is now publicly asking Dish yet again to put our market-leading stations back on their satellite platform under the agreement that we both have operated under for years, and we’re again inviting them to finally start engaging in a meaningful good-faith negotiation of a new contract.” 

On Monday, when 12 CMG stations went dark on Dish, Dish sent out a press release that, according to CMG, included “knowingly false statements.”

According to CMG, the claims included that the broadcaster refused to leave the channels up while negotiations continued and that CMG “underinvests in local journalism.”

“Dish’s most egregious lie is that CMG is under-investing in local journalism," said Paul Curran, executive VP of TV for CMG. “The fact is that CMG has increased investment in our news programming and product with transformative investigative journalism and a groundbreaking news and community service initiative that recently received the pinnacle of recognition for local broadcasters, the Service to America award.”

CMG called on Dish to restore the stations and begin to negotiate in good faith. ■

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.