Four Standard General Stations Blacked Out in Dispute With Dish

A Dish technician standing outside a company van.
(Image credit: Dish)

Paducah Television Operations, a subsidiary of Standard General, said its four stations have been blacked out to Dish Network subscribers in a dispute over retransmission consent fees.

Paducah Television, based in Providence, operates stations, in Lincoln, Nebraska, Cape Girardeau, Missouri and Providence, Rhode Island and does business as Standard Media, said Dish refused offers from Standard Media and was insisting on significant rate reductions.

Standard General has agreed to buy Tegna, but the deal is in the middle of a lengthy review by the FCC. Among the deal's opponents are cable operators concerned that Standard General will try to raise retransmission fees.

The Walt Disney Co.’s stations and cable networks were briefly backed out by Dish, but the two companies quickly came to a settlement last month. Dish is among the distributors most likely to be involved in a fee dispute when distribution deals expire.

In a statement, Standard Media said it has tried to reach a deal with Dish. 

“Throughout this period, the parties have agreed to multiple extensions to permit negotiations to continue without an impact on viewers. Even though the parties continue to negotiate, Dish has taken the inexplicable position that it will no longer carry the stations during the negotiations. Our stations therefore will no longer be accessible through Dish. This is Dish's choice, and not what we prefer,” the company said.

“With just four local stations, Standard Media is a small station owner. We take seriously our responsibility in providing critical and current news to local communities. While Dish is willing to resell our valuable content that drives their viewership, they do not want to pay for it,” Standard Media said.

Standard Media said it will continue to negotiate in good faith and hopes Dish will enter into a “reasonable” agreement.  ■

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.