The blackout affects Dish customers in 53 markets.
“We made a fair offer to keep Tegna stations available to our customers, but Tegna rejected it, forcing the removal of its channels,” said Brian Neylon, group president, Dish TV. “Tegna is looking to sell its stations to the highest bidder and is simply trying to exploit Dish customers as a way to get the maximum price and further fatten their wallets.”
Last month, Tegna said it had received offers to buy the company.
“Tegna is demanding we pay for 100% of our subscribers in their markets, regardless of whether these subscribers receive or want Tegna’s programming,” added Neylon. “As one of the nation’s largest local station owners, they are more interested in increasing their bottom line by charging our customers more money than providing programming to viewers under fair terms.”
Tegna blamed Dish for the blackout.
“Dish has refused to reach a fair, market-based agreement with us based on the competitive terms we’ve used to reach deals with numerous other providers that reflect the current market,” Tegna said in a statement. “While Dish is one of our smaller distributors, we regret any inconvenience for any of our customers, and hope that Dish will come back to the table to get a deal done to return our valuable programming to their system.”
Tegna began warning viewers that a blackout was possible on Tuesday.
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