Mission and White Knight Stations Operated by Nexstar Blacked Out on Dish

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

Dish Network subscribers have lost satellite access to stations owned by Mission Broadcasting and White Knight Broadcasting because of a fee dispute.

About 850,000 Dish households are affected. Mission has about 30 stations, including WPIX-TV in New York in the Dish footprint. Two White Knight stations are involved. 

“Both programming groups rejected Dish’s contract extension offers to keep programming available for customers while we continue to negotiate,” said Brian Neylon, group president, Dish TV. “We’re disappointed Mission and White Knight have chosen this course of action. The demanded fees are unreasonable given that Mission and White Knight’s viewership on Dish have significantly declined over the past three years, indicating that many viewers have moved to other channels for programming they prefer.”

Speaking for Mission Broadcasting, Mission President Dennis Thatcher said: "We were unable to agree about an extension and our contract has expired."

Mission is currently in a fee dispute with DirecTV that started in October, Mission’s WPIX was also blacked out to Comcast subscribers during December.

Dish is also involved in a blackout of Cox Media Group stations.

“Broadcasters like Mission and White Knight often block customer access as they negotiate for higher rates,” added Neylon. “We will continue to fight on behalf of Dish customers to keep prices as low as possible. We hope Mission and White Knight will continue to negotiate with us in good faith so we can minimize the disruption to our customers.”

The stations are operated by Nexstar Media Group under local management agreements, but Nexstar said it doesn't handle retransmission consent fee negotiations.

“The television stations involved in this carriage dispute are owned by and licensed to Mission Broadcasting, Inc. and White Knight Broadcasting, Inc.  They are not owned by Nexstar Media Group, Inc., and Nexstar has no role in the negotiations between Dish and either of these companies," Nexstar said in a statement. 

White Knight stations affected are WVLA-TV in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and KFXK-TV, in the Tyler-Longview-Lufkin, Texas market. ■

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.