Pappas, Dish Agree on Renewal

Pappas Telecasting said Thursday that it reached a long-term agreement with EchoStar Communications’ Dish Network that ensures continued carriage of Pappas stations in 11 markets for five years, avoiding the loss of those stations on EchoStar’s direct-broadcast satellite service.

About 2 million Dish customers receive programming from Pappas stations.

Stations that might have been dropped after the last deal expired Thursday were: KAZA/Los Angeles; KTNC/San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Calif.; KAZH/Houston; WCWG/Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem, N.C.; KMPH and KFRE/Fresno-Visalia, Calif.; KCWI/Des Moines-Ames, Iowa; KPTM and KXVO/Omaha, Neb.; KDBC/El Paso, Texas; KHGI and KTVG/Lincoln and Hastings-Kearney, Neb.; KREN/Reno, Nev.; and KPTH and KMEG/Sioux City, Iowa.

The new deal runs until Nov. 30, 2011.

Visalia, Calif.-based Pappas said several stations will be added to Dish local-channel offerings under the agreement.

The CW affiliate KCWL/Lincoln, operated together with the Omaha World-Herald, and Pappas’ Azteca America affiliate KAZR/Reno will be added Feb. 1. KUNO, a sister station to KTNC/San Francisco-Oakland San Jose, will be added in the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose and the Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, Calif., markets when separate programming begins to air on KUNO.

Pappas said in a release that the agreement “contains all of the economic terms that we had been seeking.” Pappas earlier had said Dish refused a demand of “less than 19 cents” per customer, with those subscribers paying about $6 per month for local-channel packages.

“EchoStar is pleased that we were able to reach an agreement with Pappas to continue carriage of their stations in 14 markets, ensuring that our customers will continue to receive these quality channels and programming,” the DBS provider said in a prepared statement.