Dish, Hearst Agree on Retrans Deal

Hearst Television ended a nearly eight-week standoff with Dish Network on Wednesday night, returning more than 30 of its stations to the satellite TV giant’s 13.7 million customers.

“We are grateful to once again have Hearst Television stations providing Dish customers the quality local and national programming which we invest so heavily to offer our local communities,” said Hearst Television President Jordan Wertlieb in a statement “We are thankful to Dish subscribers and to our supportive advertisers for their extraordinary patience during this prolonged process.”

Hearst stations in more than 26 markets went dark to Dish customers on March 3, after a two-day extension failed to produce a deal. The impasse appeared to be over money – Dish believed the broadcaster was asking too much and the broadcaster claimed it was merely asking for fair value for its content. Later the fight got nasty when Dish accused the broadcaster of refusing to negotiate, a claim Hearst vehemently denied.In the past few weeks both sides have been silent, an indication that talks were progressing.

By late Wednesday, Dish issued a tersely worded statement confirming a deal was reached.

“DishNetwork L.L.C., a wholly owned subsidiary of Dish Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH), has reached a multi-year agreement with Hearst Television Inc. for carriage of the broadcaster’s local channels in 26 markets across 30 states,” Dish said in its statement. “Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.”