Sinclair and Dish Agree to Long-Term Carriage Deal

(Image credit: Dish Network)

Dish Network and Sinclair Broadcast Group said they reached a new multi-year carriage agreement.

The new deal keeps Sinclair’s 144 local station in 85 markets on the Dish TV satellite service. It also puts Sinclair’s Tennis Channel on Dish and on Dish’s virtual multichannel video programming distributor service, Sling TV. Sinclair’s regional sports networks remain off Dish and Sling.

The previous retransmission agreement between Dish and Sinclair ran out in mid-August, before the start of the NFL season. The stations have been available to Dish subscribers under a series of short-term extensions.

Dish is still in a blackout situation with Tegna, whose stations have been unavailable to Dish subscribers since Oct. 5. The companies have been trading charges ever since. 

"Our agreement with Dish reflects the continued importance that distributors place on local and national broadcast content,” said William Bell, Sinclair's head of distribution & network relations. “We look forward to continuing to provide Dish viewers with the high-quality and highly-desired entertainment, and timely local news that they depend on every day."     

Not included in the deal are Sinclair’s regional sports networks. Dish has been dropping expensive local sports channels, including Sinclair's. Dish has been insisting that customers that want sports have already dropped Dish in favor of distributors that offer more sports options. Some observers thought Sinclair might be able to tie the sports outlets to a retransmission agreement with Dish.

"We are pleased to have reached a multi-year agreement with Sinclair after months of negotiations," said Brian Neylon, group president, Dish TV. "Sinclair has been a good long-term partner to work with. Both sides have been committed to keeping our customers top of mind and not putting them in the middle of our negotiations. After several contract extensions, we have arrived at a fair agreement that benefits all parties, especially our customers."

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.