Mission Broadcasting and DISH Network reached a comprehensive, multi-year distribution agreement, ending a year-long blackout.
The agreement includes 27 Mission Broadcasting television stations in 25 markets nationwide. The specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but the deal reestablishes thousands of DISH customers to Mission Broadcasting’s network entertainment, live sports, news, and sports content.
“We are delighted to have reached a new distribution agreement with DISH Network, and we look forward to continuing our long-standing relationship,” said Dennis Thatcher, president of Mission Broadcasting.
Stations in Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, and Vermont were affected.
Mission-owned, Nexstar-operated stations have been blacked out on DISH Network in 28 markets since January 6, 2023, after the companies failed to reach a new retransmission agreement. Mission Broadcasting and White Knight Broadcasting rejected DISH Network’s contract extension, and the stations were blocked as the companies negotiated over the past year.
“The demanded fees are unreasonable given that Mission and White Knight’s viewership on Dish have significantly declined over the past three years, indicating that many viewers have moved on to other channels for programming they prefer,” said Dish TV’s group president, Brian Neylon at the time, according to TVTechnology.
Mission Broadcasting said the price to provide the same content and local coverage, including sports, has increased “significantly,” and it would seek a fair agreement.
DISH Network also lost 13 Cox Media-owned local network affiliates across nine markets, which stemmed from a carriage dispute. That’s 41 local stations DISH Network customers lost access to last year, which is nothing compared to DIRECTV’s ongoing blackout of 159 stations during its dispute with Nexstar last year.
Mission Broadcasting owns broadcast television stations in 26 markets in the U.S. and has network affiliations with ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, The CW, and MyNetwork.