DISH Network and Sinclair have come to a short term agreement, saving the 112 Sinclair-owned channels that were on track to go dark last night, impacting 3.5 million customers. Earlier this month, Sinclair released a statement, saying that DISH Network will drop 112 Sinclair-owned channels if the two companies were unable to agree to carriage terms by the August 16 deadline. Now, the two companies have managed to reach a short-term agreement to keep the 112 broadcast stations including CBS, FOX, NBC, and ABC affiliates and Tennis Channel.
“We have agreed to a short-term extension with DISH to continue conversations,” said David Gibber, senior vice president and general counsel for Sinclair Broadcast Group, in a statement sent to USA TODAY. “We will continue to update our viewers as this develops. Sinclair stands willing to continue to negotiate in good faith and to enter into a longer extension to allow for the continued carriage of our channels to DISH’s subscribers.”
This news comes after DISH put the blame for the jeopardized channels at Sinclair, claiming that the media company was demanding “an unreasonable fee increase, using millions of Americans as pawns in its negotiations.”
“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, Group President, DISH TV. “Sinclair is making these outrageous demands, turning its back on its public interest obligation and putting customers in the middle of its negotiations.”
“There is still time to reach an agreement with Sinclair that is fair for all parties involved, especially our customers,” Neylon said earlier this month. “We will continue to fight on behalf of DISH customers to keep TV bills as low as possible. Despite the fact that Sinclair has walked away from the table multiple times, we stand ready to negotiate in good faith.”