Dish Blasted by Nexstar in Spots as Blackout Drags On

Nexstar Dish Blackout
Nexstar charges that Dish saves money during station blackouts (Image credit: Nexstar)


Nexstar Media has begun criticizing Dish Network in commercials on its stations as the retransmission dispute that has blacked out channels in 115 markets enters its third week.

Also Read: Nexstar Stations Removed from Dish in 115 Markets

The spot claims that Dish’s CEO has a habit of blacking out stations and networks, and that it makes money when it does. 

Nexstar urges viewers to all Dish and demand credit.

The dispute also has made WGN America unavailable to Dish subscribers.

Nexstar's stations are also running the commercials on their Facebook pages.

"Unfortunately, Dish has made a practice of dropping networks and local television stations from its programming line-up," a Nexstar spokesman said. "There are currently more than 200 channels off its system.  Our negotiations aren’t going as quickly as we would like, due largely to Dish's inability to respond quickly to the multiple proposals we have made during the last two-plus weeks.”  

In the spot, Nexstar shows networks including HBO, Cinemax and NFL Network, along with a number of station logos, and says these are channels Dish has dropped in the past.

“Dropping local stations and networks is Dish’s thing,” an announcer says. “Their CEO says it’s profitable. Doesn’t matter what his customers must endure or for how long. He’s saving Dish money.” 

The spot says that right now, Dish had dropped more than 200 local stations, cable channels and regional sports networks.

“If Dish is treating you this way, call them. Call Dish and demand the credit you deserve,” it says, while flashing Dish’s phone number on the screen.

“Dish successfully reaches hundreds of agreements with programmers every year without disrupting viewers," Dish said in a statement. "We’ve made five separate proposals to Nexstar over the past two weeks, and the ball’s currently in their court. Nexstar has intentionally slowed their responses in order to use viewers as leverage." 

Jon Lafayette

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.