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Dish Asks FCC To Intervene in Media General Dispute

Dish Network has taken its retransmission consent battle with Media General to the next level, asking the Federal Communications Commission to intervene and require the broadcaster to negotiate in good faith.

Media General stations in 17 markets went dark to Dish subscribers on Oct. 1 after the parties could not reach a deal. Dish had asked the broadcaster to continue to provide its signal to Dish subscribers during negotiations, as well as waiting until Media General’s planned merger with Young Broadcasting is completed. Dish already has an existing retrans agreement with Young.

In the FCC filing, Dish claims that Media General did not respond to its last pre-blackout offer for 11 days and has yet to respond to Dish’s subsequent counter offer made seven days ago.

"Dish customers and Media General viewers were without their shows and events for 11 days before Media General would even contact us," said Dish executive VP Dave Shull in a statement. "We reacted with a counter offer within hours and Media General has yet to respond. Dish is asking the FCC to act expeditiously to address Media General’s bad faith, push them back to the negotiating table and submit to mediation to get programming back to consumers."