Fisher Stations Go Dark on Dish

Hardly had Dish Network struck a retransmission consent deal with Young Broadcasting to restore 10 TV stations to its channel lineup when it announced more local stations were being pulled in eight markets.

In a release issued in the affected markets, Dish said it had to remove Fisher Communications stations after the two sides were unable to come to retransmission consent terms.

A number of carriage agreements between broadcasters and cable operators have been coming up for renewal in recent weeks.

As it said during the impasse with Young last week, Dish argued that Fisher’s price increases were excessive and would have to be passed along to its customers in the form of higher monthly bills. 

"We deeply regret the inconvenience this disruption may cause any of our subscribers,” Eric Sahl, senior VP of programming for Dish , said in announcing the move. “Subscribers should rest assured that we continue to take the necessary steps to ensure that Dish Network remains the source for the best quality TV at the best total value.”

Local TV station signals are among the most highly-viewed cable channels, and broadcasters have been increasingly seeking higher payments for that high-value programming.

Affected markets, according to Dish, are Bakersfield, Calif.; Boise, Idaho; Eugene, Ore.; Idaho Falls, Idaho; Portland, Ore.; Seattle; and Yakima, Wash.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.