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Dish, Scripps at Retrans Impasse

Dish Network endured its second major retransmission consent blackout in three days, with 42 stations owned by E.W. Scripps in markets like New York, Denver and Kansas City going dark to its subscribers on July 25.

News of the scripps blackout comes just days after Dish said it had reached another retransmission consent stalemate with Cox Media Group on July 22.

In the Scripps dispute, like its others, Dish claims the broadcaster has rejected its offer of an extension.

“To be clear, Scripps chose to black out its own viewers. We offered multiple extension options to keep the channels up while we continue to work toward reaching a deal during these unprecedented times, but they refused,” Dish SVP of programming Andy LeCuyer said in a press release.

The satellite TV service provider claimed that Scripps made a “take-it-or-leave-it” offer just minutes before its prior retrans deal expired and “after months of refusing to negotiate.”

“The channels could come back today if Scripps would allow it, and we can restore the channels immediately if they give us the green light,” added LeCuyer. “While the nation faces the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and Hurricane Hanna makes landfall, viewers need access to their local news and programming. On behalf of customers, we ask Scripps to stop punishing its own viewers so we can focus on reaching a fair deal.”

Scripps said in its own press release that its dispute with Dish is not over pricing, but it’s “inability to agree on other distribution terms.”

“Without an agreement in place, Dish subscribers are now missing out on our stations’ essential news, weather and entertainment programming,” Scripps president of Local Media Brian Lawlor said in a press release. “Dish’s refusal to negotiate to a fair agreement is preventing its customers from accessing pressing news during a global pandemic, a period of social unrest, an active political year and severe weather season for many parts of our country.”