The company that owns Fresno station FOX26 says it expects the local affiliate to be dropped from satellite TV provider DISH Network later this month over a contract dispute.
Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. announced Monday that it is unlikely that a new carriage agreement with DISH will be reached before the August 16 expiration of their current contract.
“As a result, all Sinclair broadcast TV stations and Tennis Channel (owned by Sinclair) would no longer be carried by DISH Network. In total, 112 broadcast TV stations are expected to be dropped, including 102 ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC affiliates,” the company said in a news release.
Online Access Also Will Be Lost
On-demand access and online access to the programming for DISH Network subscribers would also be lost at the same time, if no agreement is reached.
DISH, meanwhile, says it is Sinclair that “is threatening to black out DISH customers’ access” to local stations across the country.
“The media conglomerate is trying to use its market power to demand an unreasonable fee increase, using millions of Americans as pawns in its negotiations,” DISH Network said in response.
“Sinclair is demanding DISH pay nearly a billion dollars in fees for their television channels — a massive increase from what we pay for these same channels today despite declining viewership,” said Brian Neylon, DISH TV group president in a Monday news release.
Other Local TV Stations Impacted
Other Valley TV stations affected by the possible blackout include KFRE (CW affiliate) in Fresno and KBAK (CBS affiliate) and KBFX (Fox affiliate) in Bakersfield.
“We apologize to our viewers for the inconvenience this may cause although our programming will continue to be available either through other program providers or via over-the-air antenna reception,” Sinclair’s general counsel David Gibber said.