Dish Offer Would Keep Apollo Stations on Dish for Super Bowl

Dish said it is offering to extend its retransmission consent agreement, with payment, to keep the stations recently acquired by Apollo Global Management from being blacked out before the Super Bowl.

“Apollo Global Management, the new owner of the former Northwest Broadcasting stations, has recently been warning its viewers that they may lose their local channels on Dish,” Dish said. “Apollo, which is in contract renewal talks with Dish, has been demanding nearly double its current rate to carry its stations. Dish is doing everything in its power to strike a fair deal on behalf of customers.”

“We urge Apollo to join us in continued negotiation, and believe we are able to reach a mutually beneficial deal without disrupting customers,” Dish added.

Related: Fox and Dish End Blackout Before NFL Games Kick Off

The stations have messages on their websites alerting Dish subscribers to the dispute.

“Attention DISH customers: Despite Fox 68’s best efforts to stay on Dish, after 7 p.m. Jan. 18, you may no longer see your favorite programming live on Dish,” according to WSYT in Syracuse’s website. "That means no Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, and The Big Game! Dish charges you a lot of money to watch your favorite shows. Call DISH at 800-333-3474 and tell Dish that if it drops Fox 68, you will drop Dish.”

In addition to the Northwest stations, Apollo bought the stations that had been owned by Cox Enterprises. Those stations are also warning Dish subscribers they could lose access to the signals.

“ATTENTION DISH CUSTOMERS: The carriage agreement between WSB-TV and Dish has been temporarily extended,” said a notice on the Atlanta station’s website. “WSB-TV/Channel 2 remains committed to continue our negotiations with DISH to keep your shows on, but DON’T WAIT: Call Dish at 1-800-333-3474 and tell them not to drop WSB-TV/Channel 2!”

Dish said that on Wednesday it granted a temporary restraining order to prevent Apollo from blacking out additional channels it acquired from Cox last year. Apollo has been warning Cox viewers that they may lose access to those stations on Dish, despite Dish and Cox having just renewed their multi-year contract in March 2019.

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.