Dish, Citadel Reach Agreement In Providence Retrans Dispute

Dish Network and Citadel Communications said they reached a multi-year agreement for Dish to carry Citadel’s WLNE-TV in Providence, R.I., after a series of temporary extensions.

The previous retransmission agreement between the station and the distributor expired on Aug. 18. The station has remained available via satellite through a series of short, week-long extensions as negotiations continued.

Related: WLNE STays on DIsh

The companies issued a brief statement announcing the agreement, but did not disclose the terms.

When a blackout was a possibility, Dish handed out digital antennas so that its subscribers would be able to continue to watch the ABC affiliate over-the air.

“The fastest rising cost of almost any pay-TV bill is what broadcasters like Citadel charge for local channels, but they are available for free with a digital antenna,” said Dish executive VP of marketing, programming and media sales Warren Schlichting in a statement when the dispute became public. “While other pay-TV providers charge ‘Broadcast TV’ fees, Dish is asking, ‘Why pay for channels if you can get them with an antenna for free?’ ”

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.