Nexstar Media Group said its stations are no long available to Dish Network subscribers because the two companies were unable to come to a new retransmission consent fee agreement.
The blackout affects Nexstar TV stations in 115 markets. It also affects Nexstar’s cable network, WGN America.
“Millions of Americans across the country have lost local news, traffic, weather, sports, andentertainment programming as well as critical, up-to-date news regarding the COVID-19 pandemic,” Nexstar said.
“Viewers across the United States have expressed their outrage at DISH Network for its documented long-term practice of putting its paying subscribers in the middle, rather than reaching agreements with broadcasters and content providers at fair market rates,” Nexstar said noting that in 2020 alone, Dish has dropped network or local community programming offered by E.W. Scripps, Apollo-owned Cox Media Group, Mission Broadcasting, the NFL Network, and 21 regional sports networks.
"We made a fair offer to keep Nexstar stations available to our customers, but Nexstar rejected it," said Brian Neylon, group president, Dish TV. "Earlier today, we offered to extend the current contract and hold subscribers harmless while negotiations continue — once at 11:53am MST and again at 3:11pm MST — but Nexstar never responded. We don't understand why Nexstar insists on prioritizing greed above American viewers, many of whom rely on local programming for their news and entertainment, especially during this global pandemic."
Neylon said Nexstar is demanding $1 billion in fees. "This shocking increase is the largest we have ever seen. While we work to keep subscribers' TV bills as low as possible, Nexstar has no problem passing the buck on to American consumers, he said.
Nexstar said it remains hopeful that a resolution can be reached quickly.
Yesterday, Tegna’s TV stations were blacked out to DirecTV customers.
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