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Sen. Markey Makes 'Patriot' Push for CBS/Dish Retrans Settlement

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) says the retrans impasse between CBS and Dish--CBS stations are off the satellite service in major markets as the big Thanksgiving holiday viewing window begins to open--needs to get settled ASAP, particularly given that his hometown football team could be blacked out.

“These contract disputes between DISH and CBS will make a lot of fans frustrated when they tune into the Patriots on Sunday and see nothing but a blank screen,” Markey said in a statement.

He was not taking sides, just saying he didn't want viewers to be sidelined for the big game. “I make no representations as to the merits of either side’s position, but hope for Patriots’ fans' sake that a quick resolution can get our team back on DISH customers' screens in time to see this AFC East rivalry game on Sunday.”

Frequently it is the lack of access to big-ticket sports, like pro and college football, that gets Capitol Hill urging swift settlements of carriage disputes or local market modifications for the sake of their hometown constituents.

At press time CBS was saying the two sides remained far apart. CBS stations have been off Dish since Monday (Nov. 20).

Related: CBS Warns Blackout on Dish Deadline