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Dish Asks Tribune to Agree to Arbitration

Dish Network said it asked Tribune Broadcasting to settle their retransmission consent fee dispute and end a blackout of Tribune’s TV stations to satellite customers by engaging in arbitration.

It also asked Tribune to restore permission to carry the stations on satellite during the process.

Tribune declined to comment. On Wednesday, Tribune said that Dish wasn't seriously interested in making a deal because it hadn't responded to a ofer it made Sunday night after the blackout began.

Tribune’s 42 stations and cable network WGN America have been unavailable to Dish subscribers since Sunday evening.

“We want to return these local stations to our customers immediately, and binding, baseball-style arbitration offers a path to reach a fair deal and to serve the best interests of our customers," said Warren Schlichting, Dish executive VP of programming.

Dish is also distributing antennas to subscribers so they can watch the Tribune stations over the air.

“Our solution to offer free over-the-air antennas to impacted consumers has been tremendously successful, and provided consumers with a meaningful option to fight back against the unreasonable demands of broadcasters whose primary goal should be to serve the very consumers that they are using as pawns to gain negotiating leverage," said Schlichting.